La’Trice Murray transformed a pandemic hobby into a full-scale career.
Locked down and grounded in 2020, Murray started an urban farm on her property after her grandma nudged her to grow some tomatoes. Her small urban farm now sits in a lot next to her home, at 2808 Spruce on the city’s east side, squarely in a USDA food desert.
“Not everyone has Whole Foods money,” says Murray. “But everyone deserves good fresh food.”
When Murray, also known as “Black Farmer Jane,” started, she gave away her produce to neighbors, family members, and her grandmother’s senior apartment complex before a neighbor suggested selling her organic vegetables.
“My small garden is feeding five households on the regular and still leaving me enough to sell for a decent profit,” says Murray.
With inflation and continued supply chain issues Murray encourages those facing food insecurity and/or lack of food access to grow their own food. While it may be intimidating to start a home garden, Murray says the most important thing is to just start growing something.
“You can start anywhere, maybe even just a little herb garden or one tomato plant,” says Murray.
She can be found every Saturday at City Market selling her produce alongside her own small-batch wine, t-shirts, photography prints, jewelry, and natural body oils.
An Easter snow took out her crops a couple years ago, which caused her to pivot to a broader portfolio of wares that also includes an egg farm in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
Where to Find Black Farmer Jane’s Products
Every Saturday at City Market
Second Saturday of the month at Ivanhoe Farmer’s Market
Online at facebook.com/BlackFarmerJane