What began as a failed attempt to grow a tomato plant from seed has turned into Gragston Farms, a bountiful urban farm in the backyard of Kim and Jeremy Gragston’s home in the Historic Lowell District. Gragston Farms is known in Lowell for their delicious and rare varieties of fruits and veggies and their care to cultivate not only their crops, but also relationships with their neighbors. For the Gragston’s, “Growing food and eating it has been transformative . . .. It’s more for us to share, to invite people into this,” and they do.
Jeremy and Kim have a passion for teaching others to be able to grow their own food as well. They rejoice in stories of their neighbors’ “growth”. Jeremy explains, “I encourage people to grow because when you grow in your own backyard you tend to change the way you eat.”
Barbara Fiske knows the joys of having the Gragston’s as neighbors; “It’s amazing to create salads for weeks from lettuce grown just a few blocks away.” She has received advice from Jeremy about her plot in the Lowell Community Garden and has been able to learn from Kim which kinds of tomatoes are better for canning, salads, or snacks. She describes the Gragston’s as a, “Valuable addition to Urban Farms in Fresno. Especially for our neighborhood.“
Whether it’s watching the excitement of their own daughters as they pull up sweet, multicolored carrots from the ground, selling a neighbor Chocolate Mint and then teaching her how to grow it herself, or teaching friends how to train Collard Greens into a year round tree, the Gragston’s have a love for what they do and a willingness to share what they’ve learned with the community. “It’s all about community for us,” and, “ . . . the main goal is to get people to eat healthier.”
Join the Gragston’s the first Saturday of every month at their Front Porch Farm Stand on 271 N. Yosemite Ave and also look for their produce on the shelves of Peeves Local Market at the Fulton Mall. Enjoy the flavor of Gragston Farms and what neighbors are calling an, “asset to encouraging healthy living.”