EJ’s GardenFeeding People, Teaching Horticulture


Roy Fields, Founder of EJ’s Garden, wanted to make sure that residents in his North Flint neighborhood never went hungry. In 2006, a grant-funded high tunnel hoop house (greenhouse) was built on a vacant corner lot on Brownell Blvd. An abandoned house on the property was razed in 2009 to create space for an outdoor garden, and a grant was obtained from the Ruth Mott Foundation to drill a well. “Since 2014, we have distributed fresh food throughout the community,” Fields shares. “There is a great need here.”

EJ’s Garden is named after Fields’ grandson Eric Price, Jr. who has been his grandfather’s sidekick for many years. “Ever since he was little, he would work with me planting and rototilling,” Fields reports. “My legs would quit and he would help me. He knows which peppers are hot and he had to try them all!” Now 14 years old and a student at Flushing Middle School, Eric continues to work the garden.


Last summer, the garden was highlighted on Edible Flint’s Food Garden Tour. Eric “EJ” Price is pictured here with his sister, Skylar.

“The first year, the tomato plants grown in the hoop house were awesome,” Fields recalls, “and the greens grown outside were so big, we called them elephant ears!” Residents of the 2nd Ward and other volunteers water and fertilize the crops, pull weeds, harvest veggies, cut the grass and perform general upkeep.



The registered name of the community garden organization is Brownell Blvd. Coalition and with assistance from the Sarvis Park Neighborhood Association, Edible Flint, WOW Outreach and various churches and foundations, EJ’s Garden has continued to thrive. According to Fields, the partnership with Edible Flint has allowed the garden to expand, and the collaboration between Brownell Blvd. Coalition and the Sarvis Park Neighborhood Association has been ongoing for several years. The Flint City Church provides volunteers, bus service and funding for other operational necessities.


“It’s a source of community pride – people helping people.”

Roy Fields, Founder


EJ’s Garden not only produces food for the body, it has a goal of also feeding young minds. Kids are invited to attend a morning “Storytime in the Garden” during summer months. “This has become a very important part of my life,” Fields shares, adding that he had reading challenges while growing up.”I get joy from watching kids come to the free reading program. People from all over volunteer to read. It is amazing.” Dr. Ladel Lewis, Sarvis Park Neighborhood Association Founder and 2nd Ward Council Member, is a popular Storytime reader.



This spring, EJ’s Garden will be operating on a higher level, the founder reports. Plans include the purchase of a garden tractor, adding another garden across the street and bringing a reverse osmosis water system to the well to provide safe drinking water to the community. They also plan to increase the quantity of vegetables they distribute to area residents.

Photos provided by Roy Fields


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