HOW IT ALL STARTED
Tri Cycle Farms began as a personal response to a neighbor’s food insecurity. In 2011, the impact of the 2008 economic recession was lingering. Even individuals with more than one job were often challenged to meet a month’s basic food costs. Much like the Victory and Liberty Gardens of our not-so-distant past, a neighborhood --- and neighborly --- urban farm would serve, in this case, one of Fayetteville’s highest concentrations of people living in poverty within a one-mile radius.
In 2011, Tri Cycle Farms’ founder, Don Bennett, recognized both the need and the potential to address food insecurity directly, beginning with land, resources and alliances at hand. It was a determined decision to find and (literally) grow a direct, hands-on solution to food insecurity, amid the complexity of a growing modern poverty.
In mid-2011, Don purchased two acres of over-grown land behind his house and with a coalition of community volunteers, a farm-raising movement began. In October of that same year, the field was cleared by a volunteer force of 119 community members. The next day our former mayor tilled the soil, and this urban heritage farm was reborn. An endeavor that started with two food insecure individuals has grown to over 1,000 engaged community members.
Hear Don tell the story of Tri Cycle on TEDX Fayetteville
Tri Cycle Farms is a community urban farm-park, working to address food insecurity by growing food and teaching others to grow food. We have a beautiful, productive garden on 2 acres of land in the heart of Fayetteville. Our friends and neighbors come to work in the garden, or they might stop by to soak in the rejuvenating natural beauty. We strive to create community by reconnecting with the land, with our food, and with each other.
Though growing food is what got us started, we have expanded our programming to include much, much more! We have begun to create our own circular economy through the enactment of various programs, which include garden tending, chicken tending, hydroponics and food recovery, as well as educational classes and workshops.
Click here to learn more about our programs!
Tri Cycle Farms started with volunteers and continues to operate almost exclusively on volunteer hours. This organization is truly a community effort, dependent on the dedication of our amazing volunteers, board members, AmeriCorps VISTA, NCCC, and GardenCorps service members.
We are currently striving to improve the sustainability of this organization through the implementation of salaried, living wage positions, including a Farm Manager, Food Specialist and AmeriCorps VISTA Supervisor.
Click here to learn more about our current team members.
Tri Cycle Farms was conceived, designed and built to re-establish a lost connection to our food and to reaffirm a connection to each other and our environment. We did not want to adopt modern agriculture or rely heavily on motorized equipment. We did believe Tri Cycle Farms could serve to demonstrate, provide accessibility to, and eliminate the intimidation of actually growing your own food.
In the spirit of a Neighborhood Commons approach, with a mission of Community Through Soil, Tri Cycle Farms has grown a living, natural model of sustainable urban farming. In six years, Tri Cycle has established programs of food recovery, hydroponics, chicken tending, garden tending and volunteerism, as well as community education and awareness for all ages.
Tri Cycle Farms is a constantly growing community of stewards for food awareness, education and empowerment. Our farm raising, event-based approach has drawn regional and state-wide attention as we create a sustainable community urban farm model that can be replicated anywhere.