ROOTS

ABOUT     PEOPLE     PARTNERS     COMMUNITY

ABOUT TRICYCLE

Mission

Tricycle is Richmond’s leading urban agriculture nonprofit organization, and we are on a mission to grow a healthy future through urban agriculture. Since breaking ground on our first garden, we have engaged thousands of neighbors and shown that the simple act of growing food is an incredibly powerful way to impact the overall health of our community.

Our work addresses a myriad of challenging issues, and ultimately our mission is about FOOD:

F

Focus on community needs

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Outreach and education

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Opportunities for healthy food access

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Design of beautiful spaces

History

Over a decade ago, a small group of neighbors and friends came together with a shared dream to address blight in the city in a way that would bring the neighborhood of Church Hill together in a truly organic manner. This was done by reviving an old concept and making it new again by transforming an abandoned lot into a beautiful and productive garden built for and by the community. Neighbors came together at the intersection of 23rd and Jefferson Ave, and the story is told that as they dug in to create our first community garden, pieces of an old tricycle were unearthed and Tricycle Gardens was born.

It tells the story of our beginnings and one of urban agriculture. As we have continued to revitalize neighborhoods and transform abandoned spaces with community gardens, children’s gardens, urban farms, and orchards, we regenerate the health and vibrancy of our city.

OUR PEOPLE

Staff

Fellows

Robert has lived and worked in Richmond since 2006. His background is broad, including philosophy, music, cycling, and a knack for all things mechanical. Driven by a do-it-yourself work ethic, Robert loves being outside and working with his hands. He is pursuing agriculture out of an interest in self-reliance and sustainability. He sees small-scale sustainable agriculture as a path to personal independence and a hedge against economic uncertainty – the more we can provide for our own needs as individuals and communities, the less reliant we are on a job market that is all too often abusive and exploitative. His dream is to operate a farm that can act as a both a cooperative workspace and a community hub.

Tim is taking the next step in his career, after working as a chef in the richmond area for the last 14 years. Growing up working in his dads market garden, as well as working with many local area small farms has led him to connect his passion for food with his roots. He hopes that by working with Tricycle he will gain a better understanding of community food systems and food security issues facing the area. He plans to utilize his skills and knowledge of the food and beverage industry to promote the utilization, accessibility, and expansion of sustainable local food systems as well as his own farm concept.

Allison is a foodie and creative who functions as the Urban Farm Coordinator for youth at Church Hill Activities and Tutoring, a Richmond non-profit. She believes in gathering diverse groups of people around the table to investigate what it means to eat and thrive together in community. Raised in a military family, Allison made her way to Virginia Commonwealth University to study Classical Viola and Anthropology graduating with a Bachelors in Music Education. She made her home in the East End for four years, teaching middle school orchestra, before pursuing an opportunity to serve churches abroad in Scandinavia. While away, she ultimately pieced together the puzzle to her conflicting perspectives on food policy, contrasting her European health experiences with what she’d experienced while living at home in the United States. Her travels have catalyzed her pursuit in sourcing and consuming food more holistically. Allison hopes to see restoration in her community-at-large, reclaiming black heritage in agriculture as a person of color while creating unifying and meaningful encounters that will reconcile us with the earth and one another.

Ali is a Virginia native and often can be found outdoors, being active and getting his hands dirty. When not outside, he has been in the classroom working as an ESL teacher in elementary schools. As a first generation American, he feels a personal connection and responsibility to continue serving immigrant families whose food resources are limited and to advocate for better food access and nutritional choices. He is eager to work toward supporting the community by helping improve the disparity in access to healthful and affordable food options. He hopes to apply what he gains from the fellowship to educate and encourage young people and underserved populations to explore urban agriculture, promote opportunities for hands-on learning and involvement, and foster within these populations a sense of self-sufficiency and appreciation for nature. He looks forward to translating his own affinity for nature, food, and learning into meaningful action that will help grow a healthy, sustainable, thriving local community.

Throughout her upbringing there was an emphasis on practicality and self subsistence echoed in the way one comes across food and consumes it.  While being raised by transplanted “Old New York” New Yorkers in the Northern Virginia suburbs Brittany was exposed to the practices of “jibaro” farming techniques from her grandparents.  Her farming and horticultural knowledge have been passed down through endearing anecdotes and lessons that her grandparents were taught in their youth on their farms in Puerto Rico. The awareness of food disparity and lack of affordable access and the need to affect policy surrounding these issues is one of her greatest drivers in applying for the Tricycle UrbanAg Fellowship.  She is a lover of all things plants, nature and the law. As a fellow she hopes to gain the skills and greater experience to understand the ins and outs of urban agriculture and farming to affect positive change and protecting these spaces.

Bao is an entrepreneur who has always had a interest for horticulture and with this desire he decided to reach out and pursue his horticulture dream after selling his business of eighteen years. He first discovered his love for growing when he took on a summer project of growing vegetables and became satisfied planting a seed and seeing it grow. He is a firm believer that what you put in your body is important to a long healthy life. He hopes after the fellowship that he will be able to educate and contribute to the community about sustainable health and personal satisfaction of his career choice.

Halie spent her childhood invested in 4-H, food security focused non-profits, and helping her friends and family with their own gardens. After moving many times in the last few years, Halie found her home in the community of Boone, North Carolina. There, all of her interests seemed to meld into one as she discovered sustainable agriculture and its ability to disrupt the cycle of poverty. She became involved with a community garden and “pay-what-you-can” locally sourced cafe where she was able to live out her passion for tending to the land and the hungry.

Through those experiences, she knew she wanted to invest her life’s work in sustainable agriculture. Halie believes equality for all is dependent upon sustainable and accessible food sources. She looks forward to learning and growing alongside her peers, and to using the skills which she will learn to grow community and food wherever she may call home for years to come.

Living in Richmond for almost his entire life, Tyler hopes to benefit the community his family comes from. With fond childhood memories of the being outside, Tyler eventually came to study the natural environment and sustainability in his undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia. His interdisciplinary degree was broadly focused in global development, with a concentration in the environment and agriculture systems. Tyler’s main focus in his fellowship experience is bridging the gap between the disenfranchised and the natural world. Through Tricycle gardens, he hopes to gain the tools necessary to empower and enrich the lives of individuals of need in the Richmond Metro Area.    

Shannon has spent the last 4 years working at a Natural Foods store in her hometown of Leesburg, Virginia. While working there, she was able to see first-hand the positive impact that access to organic, nutritious food, and herbal medicine has on people’s lives. Now Shannon is excited to learn about the production side of natural foods and is looking forward to learning more about the farming process through the fellowship program at Tricycle. Her goal is to eventually work for a food justice non-profit organization and share her new found knowledge of urban farming with the community.

Pat comes to Tricycle through her gardening with Eden’s Community Garden in the Southside of Richmond. Eden’s Community Garden is an educational urban farm site, dedicated to educating the community about the relationship of a healthy food system, economic impact, natural resources, and social well-being. She is currently the manager of Eden’s Community Garden and wants to enhance her farming skills and knowledge. Pat’s mission: to learn as much as she can about urban agriculture and then educate the community in how to grow and prepare their own healthy vegetables and meals. She wants the community to be excited about growing their own food and about the full-flavor taste of fresh vegetables. She sees such a great need in our community to learn how to live a healthier lifestyle, and it can all begin right in your own backyard (or container) with growing your own vegetables. She is excited to soak in all the program has to offer and share that knowledge with others in our community.

Born in Atlanta, but raised in Virginia Beach, Tabitha eventually migrated to Richmond in 2007. Attending Virginia Commonwealth University as a non-traditional student, she graduated in May 2013 with a BS in Mass Communications.  After a myriad jobs unrelated to her concentration in college, she stumbled into small business grocery purely by chance. It was there she discovered her passion for the food system and responsible sourcing. Working with farmers on a weekly basis sparked her curiosity to understand how a farm balances both business and production. She completed Broadfork Farms Apprenticeship Program in the 2018 growing season and felt a pull toward growing food in an urban landscape. Tabitha’s goal is to combine growing nutritious food with a retail component and connecting with restaurants and grocers to further strengthen the community.

Jin has a background in culinary arts, better known as cooking since the advent of fire. His affinity for all things living led him to a gardening role in Napa, California, as well as a brief stint as a farm manager in the beautiful hills of Mendocino County. He loves getting lost in the woods, and believes that children without the pleasures of a delicious meal with friends and family on a regular basis, is a failure of stewardship on the part of every food-secure individual. He’s glad to be home.

Jean received a BA in Environmental Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University and is concerned about global climate change and especially about the future of food access in Virginia. She wants to help people in Richmond connect with their natural resources as the city continues to grow and evolve. Her goal is to start a non-profit that will educate Richmonders about sustainable practices with the aim of assisting them to start their own home gardens or cooperative gardens. Jean believes that farming knowledge should be free and available to anyone who wants to learn and is excited to pass along what she gains during the fellowship program.

Caitlyn discovered her love for growing food while studying Sustainability and Horticulture at the University of Florida. While working in greenhouses and on an organic farm in Gainesville, Florida, she was inspired to keep exploring all the ways growing food leads to better wellbeing overall. Through the Urban Ag Fellowship she hopes to learn how to grow sustainably and enrich communities through the positive connections that urban farming and green spaces create. As a South Florida native new to Richmond she can’t wait to explore the area and work with the passionate people involved with Tricycle!

Taylor is drawn to urban agriculture’s power to revitalize a community. During her studies in college, a paper she wrote on suburbia lead to extensive reading on how urban agriculture, community gardens, and their partnerships with local businesses has helped immensely in regenerating Detroit’s local economy. She became fascinated on local food systems and their relation to segregation, class systems, and general physical and mental health. Upon meeting local farmers after graduating, she was excited to find a career path that connected her love of food, the outdoors, and tactile work that uses the body, to a want to positively affect her community. For the past two years she has been volunteering at local farms and is excited to get more in depth experience through the fellowship at Tricycle. During her time here she hopes to better her farming skills, learn more on running a business, get in depth with the current state and future of urban agriculture, and find her place within it.

Board

Hunter Hopcroft, Chair

Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market

Frank Robinson, Vice Chair

President Emeritus, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Cathy Taylor, Secretary

Dominion Energy

Tavis Maxwell, Treasurer

Capital One

Daniel Slone, Immediate Past President

Vertical Vision Legal

Richard Bennett, MD

Bon Secours

William Bradley

Colliers International

Mary Ann Hager

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Richard Hood

Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market

Heather Massey

Community Volunteer

Dr. Cliff Morris

Morris Cardiovascular & Risk Reduction Center

Kelly O’Keefe

VCU Brandcenter

Susan Winiecki

Richmond Magazine

Madison Wootton

BB&T Scott & Stringfellow

COMMUNITY

Growing in Community

We celebrate Tricycle Certified Urban Agriculturalists who are growing businesses and community projects, both locally and throughout the region.

Hazel Witch Farm is a woman-owned urban farm business growing ethical and sustainable herbs, flowers, and regionally adapted heirloom seed in the East End of so-called Richmond, Virginia. Hazel Witch Farm uses regenerative farming practices to not only sustain, but hopefully improve the land, with a focus on bioregionally adapted + open pollinated varieties, cruelty free amendments, and plant positive pest management.

Real Roots Food Systems is a multi-faceted company based around increasing the viability of urban farming and it’s ability to feed communities.  RRFS provides consultation, installation, and maintenance services for food growing systems at your home or business, as well as workshops and presentations about all different aspects of sustainable urban agriculture.

Shine Farms is a womxn owned and powered diversified vegetable farm located minutes from downtown Richmond. We practice regenerative and sustainable agriculture with beyond organic standards and no-till farming methods.

Rooted in Community

It takes a village to grow an urban farm, and ours is rooted in our Richmond community. These folks make our work possible, and so much fun! Supporting them – supports us – and then we all grow together!

Apple Seed Turf Solution

804-980-5689

Paradise Garage

14 S Allen Ave, Richmond, VA 23220

Anything Electrical LLC

(804) 370-9829

OUR PARTNERS

Foundation and Corporate Partnerships

As a non-profit organization, Tricycle partners with foundation and corporate partners who share our interest in growing a healthy future through urban agriculture. From grant making and event sponsorships to employee engagement opportunities and consumer promotions, our partnerships are creatively designed to the unique needs of each partner.

To learn more about how a partnership with Tricycle supports cultivating our local community, please contact Sally Schwitters at 804-231-7767 or sally@tricycleurbanag.org.

Aetna

Bon Secours

Capital One

The Community Foundation serving Greater Richmond

 

The City of Richmond

Dominion Foundation

Frontier Group at BB&T Scott and Stringfellow

Harper Associates

Harris Williams & Co

Jenkins Foundation

Nunnally Foundation

Robins Foundation

Universal Leaf

USDA Community Food Projects

USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

and more!

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