Urban Harvest is a self-described “Grow-Op.” Based in Memphis,Tenn., and serving all of the Mid-South region, Urban Harvest is focused on helping people grow organic food and networking communities for a sustainable living.
The complete chaos of 2020 pushed founder, Heath Harrison, and co-founder, Adam Watson, to want to live a healthier life by becoming aware of where their food originated. Both Heath and Adam began changing their eating habits, moving away from “toxic processed foods and the big [food] industry” in general. Once they saw and felt how these shifts in eating patterns brought about changes in their bodies and lives, they knew they had to help others make the same changes.
Heath worked in the food industry for twenty years, but got out of it in 2017. He also has a background in carpentry, working with his hands “a lot,” and he has also worked as a general contractor for a roofing company. He has “an artistic eye,” which would come to play a pivotal role in Urban Harvest.
Adam has worked in carpentry as well and home remodeling since he was eighteen years old. In fact, he even owned his own remodeling business. He has also worked in the food industry, retail management, and real estate.
Good friends for over twenty years, Heath and Adam also both became first-time dads around the same time. These new babies further inspired them to want to live healthier lives themselves and help their children lead healthy lives as well. Heath specifically says, “I wanted my daughter to have a healthier way of life and wanted to figure out how to create that for her.”
Both Heath and Adam having similar backgrounds and a “desire to feed their families healthy foods,” got their wheels turning. As Urban Harvest began to conceptualize, they sought out collaborators and sources of inspiration for their business model. They realized, “It is possible to create more self-sustainable systems.”
The first step was building raised garden beds together. They tested their ideas for about a year before officially going into business. Adam even created a homestead on his property; he built his own chicken coop and greenhouse and planted rows of vegetables and a few fruit trees as well.
After brewing on the idea for years, Urban Harvest was officially launched in December of 2022. Adam and Heath brought Lilien Rostig on board with them. Lilien is a photographer, Outreach Specialist, Project Coordinator, and Garden Consultant. She is a Memphis native with a M.A. in Earth Sciences and has “a passion for bringing people closer to nature,” she says. The Urban Harvest crew continues to build their team and is “focused on connecting and finding others who want to grow together.”
Involvement with Urban Harvest begins with a consultation to determine the client’s food growing goals and growing space. This is the part where founder Heath’s artistic eye comes into play. He states he “wants to enhance the aesthetic of [client’s] yards by installing more places to grow food within the space” available. The crew at Urban Harvest can help clients achieve their gardening goals by providing services to those who want to start and maintain their own personal food gardens.
Specifically, these services include determining garden bed sizings, building greenhouse structures or chicken coops, creating impeccable spacing layouts and full installments for clients, providing proprietary soil blends, providing maintenance service packages, and developing food networking systems. Clients can choose what they want to plant, receive Urban Harvest’s expertise on planting recommendations for Zone 7 (the Mid-South’s regional hardiness zone), customize their own edible landscapes, and, perhaps most importantly, learn as they grow.
Urban Harvest utilizes “companion planting techniques to create healthy, high-yield gardens, focusing on seasonal vegetables, herbs, fruit trees, and native flowering plants.” Organic and heirloom plants are sourced locally from Angel Wings Greenhouse in Byhalia, Miss. Installation time is about four weeks, on average, from the consultation date to actual customized garden design installation, depending on the size of the project.
Heath explains, “We take the hard work away for most beginners who want help building a food garden. We are there along the way and want to develop a network for local food growers and make an impact in the community, especially for the next generation.”
Anyone can get involved with Urban Harvest: homeowners within the city limits and suburbs, property developers, other farmers, restaurants, churches, schools, youth and outreach programs, equine therapy centers, community centers, nursing homes, local governments- literally, anyone. To become an Urban Harvest gardener, all you need to do is grow your own food for your family and be motivated to grow excess food that can then be sourced back into the community through farmer’s markets and charities. To learn more about this the Urban Harvest crew encourages you to contact them through the following: https://urbanharvest.life/ call/text: 901-430-2712 Email: GrowTogether@UrbanHarvest.Life
Urban Harvest is passionate about “spreading awareness of the mental and physical health benefits of gardening, changing the way people think about food, and helping people sustain successful harvests.” Whether you’re new to gardening or already enjoy it, the crew at Urban Harvest can help you increase your yield this summer.