Man creates micro farms to help with northeast Oklahoma City food desert

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Alaric Overbey is creating a produce paradise in the middle of northeast Oklahoma City.

“The faster to you pick it, the faster it grows,” said Overbey, owner of Vertical Life Farms.

Overbey says it is his way to help a local community that needs access to fresh food.

“Altogether, there’s about 50 raised beds out here growing food. There’s 16 out here. There’s another 21 inside,” Overbey said.

Fresh vegetables and fruit are growing behind the National Women in Agriculture Association on N.E. 16th and MLK.

“Green tomatoes are big out here. I didn’t know they were so big out here,” he said.

He is working to provide a community garden for the those living in this food desert.

β€œWe feel if we start to place these micro farms all around the community, it will offset and eliminate a food desert,” Overbey said.

Overbey specializes in vertical farms, which are towers to grow fresh produce.

“So traditional farming takes soil, fertilizers, and water. Vertical farming eliminates a lot of those issues so it eliminates the soil. It allows you to recycle your water and your nutrients and it allows you to grow all year round,” Overbey said.

He moved from Dallas to produce vertical farms for a local grocery store.

He says after that fell through, he decided to make community gardens with the help of his business partner Greg Brown, who is from northeast Oklahoma City.

“We’ve got to come up with something to bring everybody together and change this situation for this community,” Greg Brown said.

They want to create awareness about these micro gardens and educate the community on how to do it themselves.

“They can solve their own economic and social issues by being able to be economic in the food and agriculture they grow,” Overbey said.

A sustainable approach to healthy living.

For more information on the Northeast OKC Task Force created by OKC Councilwoman Nikki Nice, visit https://www.neokcfood.com/

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