Woman leaves coporate job to start urban Duval farm

Around Jacksonville, you may start to notice new spots to buy locally-grown fruit and vegetables.

Action News Jax Anchor Dawn Lopez found the trend of “micro-farming” is spreading all over the country and Jacksonville is no exception.


The U.S. Labor Department reports during the pandemic ,nearly half of Americans considered a new career. Some numbers show as many as one-third considered farming.

Near Ed White High School on Plant Lane, Ashantae Green is starting her second farm, called Green Legacy Farm. If her name sounds familiar, Green was elected Supervisor of Duval County’s Soil and Conversation.

She’s one of thousands around the country who’s shelved her career for a slower pace a ticket out of the rat race.

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”When the pandemic hit, I was working for a construction company and as you know, at that moment, the industry was hit with a wrecking ball,” Green said. ”It was scary, but I leaned on my experience. I worked in construction for the past 10 years building someone else’s empire and company. I thought, ‘I can do this for me and my family.’”

According to new numbers, there are more than 29,000 urban farms in the U.S. Agriculture experts say they provide nutrition in food deserts, bring the community together, and even help clean the air in cities and urban areas. But Green said she learned early, she couldn’t do it alone.

”We leveraged the power of community. On our first farm day, we had 40 people come. They helped us grow our farm but they learned to,“ Green said.

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”We’re learning you don’t have to have 100 acres, you can have your house and community garden, it gives you hope pesticide free, not giving kids toxic food,” Green said.

Green has a son with Sickle Cell Anemia and she said better food has meant fewer trips to the emergency room for her son Aiden.

”There was a lot at stake. Going from a lucrative career to growing something from nothing. I have a son and husband,” Green said.

Barbara English, a land owner, said she took the leap of faith years ago after more than three decades of working for the federal government.

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”We’ve been blessed to go from a company of 1 to up to 101,” English said.

English has an Airbnb property on a farm.

English, a baby boomer, wants to let a millennial like Green know the risk, preparation, and hard work will pay off.

English now has a vacation home in Fiji.

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