As recent college graduates, Katherine Murray and Matt Smith were determined to put down roots in more ways than one. Not your typical twenty somethings,the pair have already traveled extensively doing volunteer work at organic farms in Costa Rica, South Africa and India. Their passion for gardening and growing food in the most sustainable ways possible, led them back to Murray’s own roots — right here in Birmingham — to launch their new business, Magic City Gardening.
With a main focus on helping people enjoy more locally grown foods, Murray and Smith started their business with the core values of sustainability helping to guide their direction. For Smith, this even meant converting a Ford F250 Diesel work truck to run on vegetable oil. “This truck we have is an absolute beast and would be great for heavy lifting,” he says. “It would be a shame to have to run it on diesel because it’s really expensive, and bad for the environment.”
Magic City Gardening is able to create customized organic gardens for both residential and commercial customers throughout the greater Birmingham area. Their philosophy is simple, yet, it’s worth noting and taking cue from:
1.) “Know where your food comes from.
2.) Support local small businesses.
3. Help save the environment.”
Still in the early stages of operating this new business, Smith and Murray also have hopes to soon offer a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. They’re currently working to develop a one acre piece of land in Roebuck Springs — on the site of the former (and currently abandoned) East Side Swim Club.
“We are working in conjunction primarily with the Roebuck Community President (Frank Hamby) and Ruffner Mountain (Scott Green),” explains Smith, who says Magic City Gardening got involved in helping to clean up the property when Frank Hamby became the recipient of a ‘Love Your Block’ grant from the City of Birmingham. “We are working with him, and in exchange we’re getting to use the one acre plot to grow produce for our own devices.
Although a huge undertaking, the Roebuck Springs project will help revive a variety of needs in this area of the city. As for Magic City Gardening, it stepping into the initial stages of literally planting the first “seeds” for their CSA.
My Green Birmingham is excited to share progress updates regarding Magic City Gardening’s endeavors — please check back soon for additional posts!
For more information about Magic City Gardening, or to contact them for further details about their services, please visit www.magiccitygardening.com. Additional photos of the Roebuck Springs project are available on the Magic City Gardening Facebook page.