Like many urban neighborhoods, Kinsman in Cleveland had its share of vacant lots that served as illegal dumping grounds for chemicals, household waste and other hazardous materials. The neighborhood had been in decline for many decades as a result of economic changes and depopulation. In 2011 that began to change when Damien, Keymah and Randy leased a 1.3 acre vacant lot from the City of Cleveland.
Determined to bring healthy, local food to the citizens of Kinsman they created Rid-All Green Partnership and have become pioneers in the urban agriculture world. Committed to transforming the neighborhood, the farm trains local residents in farming techniques while providing tons of food to local businesses and residents each year.
The farm now features three greenhouses, four hoop houses, an edible trail, a Treehouse, a Teepee, a pond and 18 fruit trees. One of the greenhouses is dedicated to aqua-farming featuring Black Tilapia fish that will soon be joined by Perch, Blue Gill, Bass and other types of Tilapia.
The farm also produces the super-rich and nutritious soil “Black Gold”. “Black Gold” is produced from produce scraps from the Cleveland Food Bank, wood chips from the Cleveland Forestry department, coffee grinds from local coffee houses and leftover hops from local breweries.
The farm has also joined an EPA funded collaboration with the Buckeye Development, Corp., the City of Cleveland, and Environmental Health Watch. This soil is created so that it is ideal for use in inner-city neighborhoods, farms, rooftop gardens and raised-bed gardens alike.
The farm is connected to the community in every way, practicing mindfully and hosting a plethora of educational, arts, sports, entertainment and community engagement programs.
The farm once produced its own organic clothing line designed by Marc White who has designed for the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Oprah Winfrey and Whitney Houston. The clothing is made from entirely sustainable materials including bamboo, hemp and linen.
Rid-All Green Partnership has connected with hundreds of children and youth through their work with Karamu House and the comic book series that they produce: “Brink City ‘Green in the Ghetto’”. With Brink City, Rid-All Green Partnership has found a way to reach non-traditional audiences about the importance of the green and environmental movements, specifically focusing on urban youth. The comic books educate and tell stories to positively promote messages highlighting urban agriculture, recycling, green jobs and healthy neighborhoods.
Another of the meaningful recent projects has been the toy gun-buy-back program that Rid-All Green Partnership has initiated, the launch of which was spurred on by the tragic death of 12-year old Tamir Rice in Cleveland. Parents and children were encouraged to bring their toy guns to the farm for which they received $25 and a special edition of Brink City.
The Rid-All Green Partnership founders feel guided on their mission to transform urban communities across America and their core values of Empowerment, Community and Love are present in everything that they produce and do.
“Rid-All Green Partnership is the canvas that keeps our imagination alive, it has allowed us to paint a new reality and show people living in forgotten urban communities what is possible.”