In the heart of Cleveland's Kinsman neighborhood, an 18-acre plot of land, once an illegal dumping ground, has become a symbol of hope, sustainability, and community empowerment. This is the story of Rid-All Green Partnership, co-founded by childhood friends Keymah Durden, Randy McShepard, and the late Damien Forshe. Damien was 50 when he passed away and was once the owner and operator of the Rid-All Exterminating Corporation. He pivoted his focus in 2009 to co-create this transformative project. Together, these visionaries have turned a neglected space into a flourishing food ecosystem.
Keymah Durden Photo: Ross Monagle
Building Community Through Localized Food Approach
Rid-All's mission goes beyond just growing food; it's about growing community. By focusing on a localized food approach, they're creating jobs, increasing access to fresh, healthy food, and strengthening the bonds among residents.
Transforming Land and Lives
The transformation of the land is symbolic of Rid-All's broader mission to transform communities through food. When they started in 2011, the site was filled with over 2,000 tires, burned-out cars, and abandoned refrigerators. With determination, they have turned this wasteland into a thriving urban farm. This remarkable transformation also serves as a living tribute to Damien Forshe's legacy of community revitalization.
A Diverse and Sustainable Ecosystem
Rid-All runs a five-month training program focused on managing a farming business, offer paid apprenticeships, and operate a successful aquaponics and hydroponics business. These activities are interconnected, creating a circular economy that benefits the community at large.
Impacting Lives Beyond Food
For Rid-All, it's not just about filling bellies; it's about changing lives. Whether it's providing employment through training programs, creating a safe space for veterans, or inspiring the 2,500 kids who tour their facilities each year, Rid-All is making a difference.
Rid-All Farm stands as a testament to what can be achieved when people come together with shared values and a common purpose. It’s a model that can inspire other communities to embrace regenerative farming as a means to heal both the land and the people.
Visit the farm: https://ridall.org/
Join Rid-All and others at our 2023 Gathering on Regenerative Farming. Learn more.