By Tamica Jean-Charles
You could say Ricky Whitfield was furloughed at the start of the pandemic, even though his job is still up and running.
The former security guard suffers from a severe case of asthma and was directed by his doctor to not work around other people. Even after bringing the doctor’s note to his employer, emphasizing the need for his new requirements, he hasn’t been scheduled since last March.
The extra time allowed Whitfield to pursue his longtime dream of having an urban farm. Whitfield always loved gardening, but it wasn’t until he cultivated his “pandemic garden” when he realized he could do more than grow produce in his backyard.
Thank God Urban Farms, located at the corner of South Market Street and Halifax Street, is expected to open on Whitfield’s birthday, April 6.
“I want to physically farm vegetables and sell them to whoever wants to come and purchase them,” Whitfield said. “… I just want to introduce different vegetables to [the city].”
Breaking away from the usual array of goods found in grocery stores, Whitfield wants to offer a wider variety of crops to vendors and customers alike, such as yellow-pear and Brandywine tomatoes.
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