Residents of Cherry Hill Homes to Benefit Under Agreement Allowing Black Yield Institute to Operate Community Farm for Remainder of Year
Residents will receive donated produce from the farm and have opportunity to volunteer and learn.

(BALTIMORE | July 14, 2021) The Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) and the organization operating a community farm at HABC’s Cherry Hill Homes have agreed for the farm to remain at the site, Cherry Hill Homes residents, will benefit from having the farm on their home property.

“Using fertile land in the city to farm and grow fresh produce is a virtuous and necessary undertaking, and we applaud the mission,” said HABC President and CEO Janet Abrahams. “With this agreement, we have responded to our residents’ needs. They will now receive excess produce from the farm and be offered the opportunity to volunteer there. We look forward to having the Black Yield Institute view our residents as partners for the remainder of the year, as the group looks for a permanent location.”

The half-acre farm and the acre of land around it is open to the group’s operations seven days a week. BYI is being allowed to sell its produce at the site and off-site, but also must donate excess produce to residents of Cherry Hill Homes. Additionally, BYI will establish times and days for volunteers to assist the work and for Cherry Hill residents and other members of the community to tend plots in the Garden.

BYI has also agreed to provide residents certain educational activities, including classes about cooking the garden vegetables and workshops to train residents, volunteers, and members of the Cherry Hill community in the practices and operation of gardening.

The farm began operations in 2010 under a formal agreement between HABC and the Cherry Hill Community Development Corporation (CDC) to use the property. When Cherry Hill resident, Juanita Ewell died the CDC determined it no longer had the partnership to operate the farm, the Black Yield Institute took over in 2018 and has been there for the past three years.

“Our mission is providing affordable housing and services to our residents and the communities in which they live,” Abrahams said. “Fortunately, Mayor Brandon Scott’s administration is working on a solution for a long-term site for the Black Yield Institute to operate their farm. In the interim, this agreement is a win for all sides, most importantly the HABC residents we serve.”

“We’re grateful for the opportunity,” said Eric Jackson, founder, and servant-director of the Black Yield Institute. “We’re clear and committed to a long-term solution, so to have HABC and the mayor commit to that publicly gives me reason to believe that will happen.”

HABC will announce its development plans for Cherry Hill Homes in the future.

About HABC
HABC is the fifth largest public housing authority in the U.S., providing quality affordable housing for more than 23,000 households. The agency creates diverse and vibrant communities, provides opportunities for self-sufficiency, and builds pathways for strong partnerships. #bmoreHABC