Texas-based Tito’s is helping till some dirt in South Dallas. It’s all part of the vodka brand’s nationwide project Block to Block, which provides communities greater access to fresh produce by establishing working farms and small gardens.
This particular project will expand the existing one-acre Hatcher Station Training Farm, which is run by Dallas-based nonprofit Restorative Farms, by transforming an adjacent empty lot into a farm. On Wednesday, Sept. 15, they will break ground at the new farm. This space will serve as an apprentice farm for new growers while providing career opportunities and at-home gardens for those who can't make it to the space.
Restorative Farms' mission is to provide a community-based urban farm in South Dallas. The nonprofit "arose from the notion of restorative justice where a community and its citizens work cooperatively from within to repair the harm done by crime and injustice," according to their website. Eventually, Restorative Farms aims to create a series of farms that work "symbiotically" in more communities.
This partnership between Restorative Farms and Tito's first began before the pandemic. They were in the process of planning their first in-person service project but had to cancel and pivoted the funding to support the GroBox initiative. These at-home gardens can be purchased by Dallas residents along with seedlings and soil to get the box started. GroBoxes can also be purchased and donated to South Dallas community members in need.
The new Hatcher Station farm will include a hoop house, rainwater catchment system, GroBox construction and seedlings. At least 135 GroBoxes will also be created, providing community members the opportunity to grow veggies right outside their front door.
GroBoxes can be purchased or donations can be made to provide boxes for others through Restorative Farms' website.