We are individuals that have come together because we believe there are more responsible and loving ways of existence in our current world.
New Roots challenges our current food systems by practicing alternative urban agriculture models, teaching and working with young people through food production and cooking, and feeding and nourishing ourselves and our communities.
We are here because we believe that in order to create a more ecologically-sound lifestyle we must create radical systems that actively oppose the dominant capitalist model of exploitation and oppression. Instead of further human expansion to our diminishing natural areas, we strive to reclaim abandoned urban areas in order to create a model and community rooted in sustainability, evolution, love, and justice.
We work towards this by creating alternatives to our current food, housing, and transportation systems. We hope to further this by creating responsible alternatives to our current health and family structures as well. The urban farm is our main project that brought us together. We support the farm and in turn we are supported by the farm. We see the current exploitation and toxification of our soil and food sources as most threatening to our bodies and communities.
Meet the Collective Members
As a young girl Mary loved playing outside and imagining the backyard of her house in suburban Atlanta was a forest full of things to explore. She thought that nature and plants were fun, mysterious and a reminder of her own power, so it’s no surprise that Mary grew up to be a farmer who loves spending time at New Roots. Mary came to New Roots when she moved to St. Louis in 2009 and hasn’t ever left. Her favorite vegetable to grow is cabbage, and she loves coming up with creative ways to cook. While she loves growing vegetables, in recent years she also begun a side project from New Roots called Bee Simple, where she raises bees with her partner James, makes soap and grows microgreens. Find more info about the project here, and find her at the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market on Saturday Mornings!
Antajuan was born and raised in the neighborhood where New Roots is located. Unlike most kids raised in the city of St.Louis, Antajuan was exposed to gardening at a young age by Sister Mary Anne McGivern and Tim Pakrek. They instilled on him early that gardening is important and FUN. This translated into having a love for nature and animals as a kid and teenager. When Antajuan became a home owner, he continued this love with the garden in his backyard.
Tiger completed a Permaculture Design Certificate course in summer 2017 after discovering concepts of edible landscaping and agroforestry while living in Chicago. Determined to find ways to engage directly and more meaningfully in hands-on farming and food justice work, Tiger and his partner moved down to St. Louis that same summer. In his day job, Tiger serves as the Director of Process Improvement in Impact Delivery, working with his team to find new opportunities to improve how City Year can deliver youth development and academic tutoring programming to students in traditionally under-resourced communities in 29 cities across the country.
Erika (she/her + they/them) is a queer, mixed race educator, facilitator, experience designer, contemporary dancer, urban farmer, and printmaker who believes that everything is design(ed), and that everyone is a designer. Erika cares about collaboratively designing meaningful, multimodal experiences that facilitate critical thought and action, and emphasizes using design to co-create a more just, equitable, and inclusive world.