White Harvest Farms
White Harvest Farms and Farmers Market
An urban agricultural outreach center
“Everything good comes from the earth” -Eartha White
White Harvest Farms (WHF), an initiative of the Clara White Mission, is a 10.5 acre urban farm and outreach center. White Harvest Farms is located in the historically rich and vibrant neighborhood of Moncrief Springs. The land we farm today was sold to Dr. Eartha White, the Clara White Mission founder in 1901 by the state’s first African American millionaire, A. L. Lewis. Eartha homesteaded the land for many years, establishing a Boys Improvement Club, a spring fed pool, and a nursing home. Eartha was dedicated to enriching and uplifting her community. Today, Eartha’s home still stands on the farm property and is registered as a national historical site.
Our farm also tells the unfortunate story of waste dumping in minority communities. Through the 1940s and 50s, 50 acres near Moncrief and Pearce Street were the dumpsite for disposal of municipal solid waste and incinerator ash. Dumping stopped in 1954, but the land was not remediated immediately. With pressure from the EPA, the City of Jacksonville started to remediate the land in 2010. Our land was remediated at this time - the contaminated soil was taken away and sterile fill dirt was brought in.
Since 2012, WHF has worked to heal the land. The farm has adopted no-till regenerative agriculture in an effort to rehabilitate and restore soil fertility on this land. In fall 2018, WHF was awarded a 3 year NRCS Conservation and Innovation Grant. This grant has enabled us to improve the soil on the farm, incorporate biological practices to promote and sustain soil life, develop an onsite compost facility, and implement an integrated pest management system. Through our commitment to organic farming, WHF is able to grow and provide nutritious produce for our community.
As the northside business landscape declined over the years, so did access to fresh foods. Currently, WHF offers our seasonal annual vegetables at our on-farm farmers markets every Saturday 10-2 October- June. WHF accepts EBT and WIC FMNP vouchers in addition to cash and debit to make local produce more accessible to those in need in our area. Produce is also donated to the Clara White Mission to support their feeding program downtown. Additionally, WHF has a number of local restaurant partners that are essential in helping the farm cover operational costs.
Through continued partnerships at the federal, state and local level WHF continues its dedication to regenerative farm practices and services to the community. WHF is in the works to become a multifaceted agritourism destination and agricultural training center. Our 5 year strategic plan develops this site into a biodiverse educational farm for youth programming and job training in agriculture and sustainability practices. WHF began as a dream to feed the people, heal the land and empower the community. Through our partnerships, the Mission, our dedicated staff and volunteers, White Harvest Farms brings new energy, life and resources to the Moncrief Springs community once again, honoring the life and work of Eartha White.
Special Projects for 2021:
Outdoor classroom pergola
More fruit trees all over the farm
White Harvest Farms is an urban regenerative farm and an agritourism destination dedicated to research and education in regenerative agricultural systems, value added product development and community enrichment programming. We grow nutritious organic annual vegetables for sale in a food desert community, provide volunteer opportunities and free classes in organic farming on a weekly bases. We anticipate the completion of a Farmers Market and Training Center on our farm in fall of 2021 which will expand our ability to host youth programming and to store, transform and distribute Florida grown produce locally.