The Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Co-op (BUGs) was recently showcased on Good Morning America, in a segment celebrating small farms and how they are adapting to feed people during the Covid crisis.
“Small farms are an essential backbone to our nation,” says the narrator in the beginning of the program. Since the Covid crisis, food pantries have seen a 50 to 70% increase in demand.
“Raqueeb Bey is the founder of Pittsburgh Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers,” he says to introduce her. “When the pandemic hit Bey’s team donated food.”
“No grocery store, since 1995,” says Bey on camera when describing Homewood. “We use the word food apartheid to describe a Black or Brown neighborhood, that is mostly underserved. We don’t just grow food, we grow minds and leaders. We’ve been out all summer, and we have fed over 3,000 families.”
The Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Co-op runs a 31,000-square-foot teaching farm in Homewood called the Homewood Historical Farm. BUGs was one of four farms featured in the GMA segment.
Bey noted that they grow healthy food such as collard and mustard greens, kale, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, tomatoes and herbs for the area poorly served by grocery stores. They even make honey with the farm’s four beehives. In addition, the group runs a farmer’s market for the neighborhood.
“It’s very important that we have our own land,” says Bey at the end of the segment.