My name is Utē Petit, im an artist and beginning farmer seeking support to build a garden, food forest, and sculpture park on my Great Grandmother Vivian Petit's former lot. Her house floated to a new address during hurricane Katrina, and it has been my dream since I was young to grow a garden in her honor. Since the storm, the city inherited her lot. Throughout the pandemic I have been quietly stewarding it through New Orleans' "Growing Green" program. Unfortunately after a year of labor, support from friends, and money spent on plants, transportation and so on; a city maintenance contractor accidentally mowed down my garden setting me back to square one. I am seeking support in the following ways:
-I am seeking monetary, building material, or carpentry expertise to build infrastructure such as a shed/shop space, small greenhouse, and a rainwater collection system. This is my primary goal as it is the prerequisite the city has given me to be able to steward the full 4 lots I applied to the program with. I envision this costing between $6000-$15000 dollars depending, but could exceed this price given the cost of lumber.
-I am also seeking monetary support to help me purchase a reliable, quality truck so that I can continue to maintain and have access to this land. I have been trying to save up to get something I can trust but I am still a bit short of what is feasible, I am seeking an additional $5000 dollars so that I can have the blessing of transportation to access my land, as well as to safely commute to/from work in the region.
-I am seeking general monetary support for 6 months rent ($5000) so that I can move back to the city, allowing me the right and access my land full time. This will also allow me time to find leads on fulfilling, safe land based work in the region so that I may return to doing my best to support myself and my ambitions.
-I am seeking safe, land based employment in the Gulf Coast region (South Louisiana, South Mississippi, South Alabama, and West Florida Panhandle) free of antiBlackness and/or transphobia, where I can apply my skills, experience, and passion while also getting back on my feet.
If you are able to support in a physical way, or have and leads or insights to employment or material support any offerings are greatly and graciously appreciated. I can be reached by email, and am grateful for any support you may be able to provide.
Portrait taken by Lee Laa Ray Guillory.