When Austin Hurt was just seven years old, he decided that he wanted to help his family put food on the table. He took a look in the pantry and found a few beans, so he decided to plant them in the yard. With a little bit of water, attention, and care, Austin grew a beanstalk of his own. Seven years later, he’s growing a lot more than just beans, for a community that’s much larger than his immediate family.
The story of Austin Hurt, the “Young Urban Farmer”:
After growing his own food in his family’s backyard to help his mom feed himself and his four siblings, 14-year-old Austin Hurt set out on a quest to help provide fresh produce to other neighbors in need and educate his local community of Indianapolis on the issue of food insecurity.
“Food insecurity means that certain areas of town do not have a reliable place to receive goods such as fresh fruits and veggies. We weren’t the only family that was struggling to get good food, and people I knew were going hungry,” Austin says.
Austin dreamed of helping his neighbors put healthy food on their tables and developing a closer community in the process. He began asking around to see if anyone could offer space for him to start a community garden, and fortunately, a kind neighbor offered up an empty plot of land for Austin to help make his dream a reality.
Austin recalls the overwhelmingly positive response when he officially started the community garden.
“My neighbors were really excited,” Austin says. “It was really great because I get to share what I know about gardening with all different types of people. Not only does the garden help keep people’s bellies full, it helps bring us all together. And it’s a lot of fun!”
After 7 years of successful harvests, Austin received some unfortunate news. Earlier this year, Austin’s neighbor who offered the space for his community garden decided to sell the plot of land. In an effort to continue his incredible initiative, Austin started a GoFundMe to buy his own plot of land upon which he could grow food for his community every single year. He plans to use all of the funds he raises to secure a space, build a greenhouse, and cover the general costs of gardening tools, operations, and maintenance.
For Austin, the future looks bright. He plans to go to school to study agriculture and farming, taking his passion for gardening to the next level. But for now, he’s focused on finding the perfect new space where he’ll put down roots to grow his next community garden.
If you are in the Indianapolis area and have any leads for Austin on a plot of land suitable for a community garden, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.