Episode 27: Mariel Gardner


by Rodney Wilson

Urban farmer Mariel Gardner talks about 5th Element Farms (aka Apocalyptic Acres), where Dope Beets, Dope Rhymes is the motto for the vacant city lot they reclaimed as a space to grow food for their community. Their food access model is to feed the people as best they can with the hope that others will want to support them in this “economy of decency.”

Listen in for tips for finding and reusing discarded items for your farm and for starting your own pollinator garden, in the city or the country. Mariel also tells us about the West Louisville Women’s Collaborative, where they believe “wellness lies at the juncture of art and nature.”

With more than 300 vacant and abandoned properties listed with the Louisville Landbank Authority, you’ll hear about the challenges of accessing this and other land for urban farming. You’ll also learn about Mariel’s research into historical Black land dispossession in the state of Kentucky and how this continues in cities and suburbs today.

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