Nadine Ford oral history interview 2, 2019 April 18
Nadine Ford grew up in the Druid Hills neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina. Her love for growing things began in her early childhood when she lived on a farm and learned gardening from her parents and grandparents. This love for gardening transcended into a desire to help her community through teaching, sharing and growing food. She found the opportunity to follow this dream when in 2009 she obtained permission to revive an untended community garden in Charlotte's Belmont neighborhood. The garden became a success, and Mrs. Ford was asked to open another garden in Druid Hills, which she did in 2016. In this interview, Mrs. Ford discusses the history of Charlotte and its inner city, her personal history, and the history of the Little Sugar Creek and Druid Hills gardens. She also reflects on her recent interview on Charlotte's WFAE radio station, where she discussed food deserts and food insecurity with Charlotte Talks host Mike Collins. She relates what was discussed during the interview and what was not discussed with respect to Charlotte's problems with food access, racism, segregation and displacement. Other topics in this interview include the challenges faced by the gardens in the Belmont and Druid Hills neighborhoods, with particular reference to volunteer staff and female growers. Highlights include discussions of the growing, donation and distribution of the food from the gardens, and also the opportunities, dialogue, education and advancement provided by those who have volunteered and participated in the gardens' growth. Other organizations that feature in the interview include The Males Place, Charlotte Greens, and Friendship Trace Community Garden. Ms. Ford's descriptions and accounts illustrate the challenges faced by urban farmers and in particular, minorities in the Charlotte region during an era of demographic change and displacement.