A couple of weeks ago we went down to 41 Fleet Street in south-side Kingston to see the beautiful art by Paint Jamaica and to see the start up project of Plant Jamaica at Life Yard with our friend Andrew Bruce founder of the project.
Plant Jamaica is an organization creating sustainable farms in small Inner City communities. Transforming Downtown with farmers, artists and education, the movement from incredibly successful Paint Jamaica, a project crowd funded and started by Marrianna Frg. Marianna found young talented artists from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and elsewhere and put the idea together after being introduced to the community of Parade Gardens. Parade Gardens, the often volatile community also known as South Side provided a site that had all the ingredients to turn the place into what it is now and the vision of Paint Jamaica came to life at 41 Fleet Street. Nearby is Life Yard, where, behind the zinc fence a collective of humble guys turned a former dump into a farm. They have a small simple concrete structure where they cook and some even sleep there from time to time.
These community members strive to eat off the land and some people from outside get much needed relief by being allowed to pick fresh fruits or vegetables from the trees to eat.
Now, Paint Jamaica and the Life Yard initiative are being leveraged to form Plant Jamaica. Between paint and plant Jamaica we can add elements to a community and its people to improve the infrastructure that is needed in depressed and underserved communities.
The vision is for Life Yard to be a place to discover cultural beating-heard of Parade Gardens, a place where persons can benefit from the seeds they so, but also where the community and enjoy entertainment and emerging talent from all over can be discovered. We hope to create a model of what can be done in Downtown Kingston, providing a spark and blueprint for others to follow suit.
Check out the video below to see the work that the volunteers of Paint & Plant Jamaica have been doing.