Devon Wilson is a first generation farmer and the President of Sunlight Gardens, located at 245 North Kendall Street. As the president, his duties include growing, harvesting and selling produce. He also does marketing for the garden and organizes and trains volunteers.
Devon was born and raised in Battle Creek and started gardening at the age of 16. Growing up, Devon loved to eat and loved food, so he started doing research on the food he was eating daily as a teen. When he learned that a lot of the food he was eating wasn’t good for him, he decided to make a change.
A Culture of Vitality
Devon realized many Black, Brown and impoverished communities are surrounded by fast food restaurants and convenience stores. Fresh and healthy food isn’t always readily available. He believes it’s important to be in control of your own resources and wants to empower the community through growing food. Devon says food should be enjoyable and taste good but also make you stronger and be good for you. “I want to be able to take pride in what I eat,” he said.
Devon began volunteering at Sprout BC on the same land where the garden sits now. He eventually leased the land from Sprout and now owns it! At the garden, Devon and his staff grow collard greens, cucumbers, kale, beans, peppers, and so much more! They also have a couple of fruit trees.
Keeping the Momentum Going
Devon has a vision to turn the farm into a space for the community. He wants to transform a portion of the farm into a park where he can host events. He also plans to eventually hire more staff and expand more into growing fruits.
Devon and his staff are partnering with a new app called Farm Estar. They’re also renovating the building on his farm to create a market to sell directly to consumers.
The Best Part
“The best part, honestly, is the sense of community,” Devon said. He loves having kids and people of all ages come volunteer at the farm. Devon wants to continue to build and expand the farm to provide experiences and opportunities for the community and just to make people happy! Sunlight Gardens is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you’d like to volunteer or donate to the farm, email Devon at firstname.lastname@example.org or just stop by!
Do you know someone who is helping to move our community forward? Click here to email us your nomination. Make sure to read about our past “Get Caught” recipients like Erica Giron, Kate Turner, and so many more!