Over ten years ago, in 2001, the Peace and Justice Center created a community garden at the corner of Douglass and Hamilton Street in Orange Mound. While neighbors and volunteers were planting seeds for okra, cucumbers and melons, they were also planting the seeds of GrowMemphis. In 2007, with support from Heifer International and the Assisi Foundation, the GrowMemphis program was officially launched.
Now, four years later, GrowMemphis includes a neighborhood community garden program with a network of 25 organic garden projects all over the city, a Food Advisory Working Group that has already begun influencing public policy in Memphis, Shelby County and the state of Tennessee, and the Double Green$ SNAP incentive program that increases revenue for farmers while making farm-fresh produce more affordable for recipients of federal nutrition benefits.
Due to the growth in programming and scope, the Peace and Justice Center has been working to spin off GrowMemphis as an independent non-profit organization.
These preparations have included developing an independent board of directors, business and strategic planning, and filing for tax-exempt status. The Peace and Justice Center will continue to support GrowMemphis through providing office space and resources while the new organization finds its feet and becomes financially sustainable.
Now, as part of the transition process, GrowMemphis is seeking to hire an Executive Director to take the reins of the new organization. This exciting full-time position will start January 1st, 2012. We are seeking applicants who are passionate about community food systems and have the skills and abilities to take a leadership role in program development and management, fundraising and financial management, and networking and relationship building to take GrowMemphis to the next level. For a full job description and details about how to apply, please visit www.growmemphis.org.
Josephine Alexander, having served as program coordinator for over three years, plans to leave GrowMemphis as the end of the year to pursue her dream of farming full-time. She and her husband, Randy, are starting a vegetable farm in north Mississippi and will be selling produce in Memphis through farmers markets and their Community Supported Agriculture. Josephine plans to stay engaged with GrowMemphis and the Peace and Justice Center.