About Us

Our future depends on the seeds we sow today.  We work side-by-side as Columbus South Side neighbors to cultivate a community of wellness that heals our bodies, souls, and minds.  Together through our urban farming gardens we address food insecurities and provide safe havens for discussion, learning, and reflection. We encourage all to walk in the faith of planting to bring forth fruit and nourishment.

Founded in 2014 as a community garden, South Side Family Farms has grown into urban farming.  

Our Mission

Our mission is to:

  • increase access to fresh produce and generate awareness of its health benefits among our underserved neighbors
  • educate on agricultural best practices for growing food systems and how to include these foods in their diets
  • create economic avenues in agriculture
  • educate and encourage youth to consider agrarian professions
  • provide safe environments for community connection and collaboration

Our two farm gardens are located in the heart of Columbus’ South Side community at 1269 and 1204 Wilson Avenue.  We support those of diverse incomes and cultures, and will continue to grow our mission in 2021 with a new seedling farm in Johnstown, cooking demonstrations and nutritional education, and the expansion of our CSA program. Stay tuned for future developments.

Meet the Guy, his Gal (wife for life), and their Goals

Minister Aaron K. and Antoinette Hopkins
Who We Are
We are a family of faith-in-action, community servants, and visionaries of hopeful and healthy outcomes here in this South Side community. We have lived within these communities for 35 years, during which we raised our six children, guided our many grandchildren, and overcame many struggles and adversities, including feeding our family well. Antoinette, my wife of 38 years, and I have put our hands on the plow of hope to address health and wellness concerns in our community.
Community Needs
We live in a borderline food desert, with limited transportation access. These problems also plague many of our urban communities with economically diverse populations and underserved people of color. We lack adequate access to fresh fruits and vegetables in our limited grocery and restaurant options. Food sovereignty and food justice have been absent so long that many in our community no longer believe they are possible.
Family Food Sustainability
While addressing the gaps that existed in our generational heritage between grandparents and youth, we found no one emphasizing family food sustainability and the food systems that have supported people in the past. No one is telling their stories of generational farming and the responsibilities of preparing your own food Wellness is also knowing you can provide for yourself.
The Path Forward
It is our passion to serve our community in Planting Seeds of Progress. We produce plants - fruit on the vine - as agents of change towards better food access, equity, quality, and fair food. We want to sustain and equip generations going forward through knowledge transfer and learning to grow food and food systems.
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We are a family of faith-in-action, community servants, and visionaries of hopeful and healthy outcomes here in this South Side community. We have lived within these communities for 35 years, during which we raised our six children, guided our many grandchildren, and overcame many struggles and adversities, including feeding our family well. Antoinette, my wife of 38 years, and I have put our hands on the plow of hope to address health and wellness concerns in our community.

We live in a borderline food desert, with limited transportation access. These problems also plague many of our urban communities with economically diverse populations and underserved people of color. We lack adequate access to fresh fruits and vegetables in our limited grocery and restaurant options. Food sovereignty and food justice have been absent so long that many in our community no longer believe they are possible.

While addressing the gaps that existed in our generational heritage between grandparents and youth, we found no one emphasizing family food sustainability and the food systems that have supported people in the past. No one is telling their stories of generational farming and the responsibilities of preparing your own food Wellness is also knowing you can provide for yourself.

It is our passion to serve our community in Planting Seeds of Progress. We produce plants – fruit on the vine – as agents of change towards better food access, equity, quality, and fair food. We want to sustain and equip generations going forward through knowledge transfer and learning to grow food and food systems.

Our Farms

1269 Wilson Avenue

1269 Wilson Avenue

1204 Wilson Avenue

1204 Wilson Avenue

Johnstown Ohio
Seedlings of Change 
Farmsite

Johnstown Ohio
Seedlings of Change 
Farmsite

Timeline of Events

2020
Dec 2020

Launch of GoFundMe Campaign

Dec 2020

Ground Breaking on Rural High Tunnel

Construction begins on the two high tunnels on our Rural Farm Site

Nov 2020

New Organization for Rural Farm Site

Established Seedlings of Change Plants for Progress LLC

Sep 2020

Land Bank Site Improvements

Improved Wilson Avenue landbank sites with gutters, water catchment, irrigation, perennial planting, mulching, and benches through support from Scott’s City/county grant, Lowe’s Home Improvement, the OSU InFact Buckeye ISA program, the Peggy Murphy mini-grant from Greater Columbus Grow Coalition (GCGC) and volunteers from The Mission Continues, Travis Manion Veterans Service Group and Wounded Warriors.

Apr 2020

Rural Site Lease Signed

Leased 2 acres in Johnstown, Ohio for additional production space. 9/2020 Received Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program (NRCS EQIP) support for season extension high tunnel, tiling, and cover crop.

Mar 2020

Bring Alive to Thrive Project

Began Bring Alive to Thrive youth pollinator flower growing project supported by the United Way Neighborhood Partnership grant and Nationwide Children’s Hospitals matching funds or dollars.

2019
Oct 2019

Built High Tunnel

Built high tunnel, fencing, raised beds, and water access at 1200 Wilson Ave through funding from Mid-Ohio Urban Agriculture Grant, Scott/s City/County Urban Gardening Grant, Lowes Home Improvements, Miller Pipeline, and volunteer support from The Mission Continues.

2018
Oct 2018

Additional Land Bank Property

Began stewarding additional landbank site at 1200 Wilson Ave

Jul 2018

Water Infrastructure Built

Constructed water catchment tower, fencing, city water tap, electric, shed, and five additional beds with community donations from South Side Community Action Network Civic Association and funding from Mid-Ohio Food Bank Urban Agriculture Grant and City/County Scotts garden grant.

Jan 2018

Joined OSU InFACT Project

Began participation in The Ohio State University Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (OSU InFACT) Buckeye ISA (Institutionally Supported Agriculture) to match community members with resources and education to produce food and sell into the OSU food system.

2017
Sep 2017

First Harvest

Harvested our first successful crops from raised beds built with lumber supported by City Urban Gardening grant award and soil from Jones Topsoil.

2016
Apr 2016

First Land Bank Property

Began stewarding property at 1269-1271 Wilson Avenue through City of Columbus Land Bank

2015
Apr 2015

First Garden Project

Built Family Missionary Baptist Church community youth engagement garden and fence project through Reaching Higher Heights 4 Life program to engage at-risk youth and traumas of gunfire and disenfranchisement.

Thank you to our member organizations!

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