Best Urban Farmer

LaManda Joy, founder, the Peterson Garden Project

Critics' Picks

petersongarden.org

In 2010 master gardener and author of the theyarden.com LaManda Joy decided to bring new life to an abandoned lot at Peterson and Campbell that had been a large victory garden during World War II. Novice and advanced gardeners tended 154 raised-bed plots during the first year of the not-for-profit Peterson Garden Project. Today the project comprises 778 four-by-eight-foot community-tended organic edible plots in nine north-side lots, including those devoted to the project's Grow2Give program, which donates its harvests to charity. The lots are temporarily on loan from the city and private owners, and are also used for gardening classes, beekeeping, and a program that trains rural refugees to adapt to urban farming. Joy leads an army of volunteers and gardeners dedicated to the idea that everyone should know how to grow their own food.