The Food for Good Farm is located on two acres of campus that was once home to the football field of Paul Quinn College located in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, Texas. The farm is entering its third season on a field where 4 inches of football sod and soil were replaced with truckloads of organic material, explains Courtney Moran.
By Mark Winne
Highland Hills is one of those down-and-out communities that’s allowed a glimpse of prosperity but never gets to taste it. The Dallas skyline looms large across the hazy north Texas horizon and is linked to this poverty-plagued neighborhood by a seven-mile ribbon of light-rail steel.
Ledbetter Avenue crosses the train line passing vacant buildings, empty parking lots, and a dizzying array of “For Sale” and “For Jesus” signs. Named for the renowned guitar picker Lead Belly who did time in these parts–both in and out of prison–the Avenue speaks little in the way of promise, but wails the blues of poverty loud and clear.
Like cockroaches in a post-nuclear winter, the only commercial survivors appear to be pawn shops, Dollar stores, and fast-food joints. One supermarket, a Minyard whose cinder-blocked and windowless façade is about as inviting as the entrance to Stalag 13, is the only retail food source in the surrounding miles of food desert. But a lifeline from an unlikely source has arrived via a group of innovative academics. Paul Quinn College, a historically black college that sits at the neighborhood’s eastern edge is committed to lifting the Highland Hills’ physical and economic health with a combination of food, farming, and servant leadership.
To drive by the campus is to, well, keep on driving. There are no signature ivy-clad buildings or tree-shaded quads, in fact the first roadside buildings you see are in various states of demolition. Student enrollment plunged from 600 to 200 and the school has experienced on-going accreditation problems. At first glance anyway, and like the adjoining neighborhood it wants to help, Paul Quinn appears to be hanging on by no more than a pea tendril.
Read full post at Civil Eats