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VOL. 127 | NO. 212 | Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Realty Firm Gives Back Through Farm-to-Fork Fellowship

By Sarah Baker

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Commercial real estate deals were put on hold Friday, Oct. 26, for Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors LLC.

Employees of Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors LLC harvest greens at Shelby Farms Park Greenline Gardens to help expand the Farm-to-Fork Fellowship.

(Photo Courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors LLC.)

About 30 of the office’s employees braved the rain and cold weather to have a workday at the Shelby Farms Park Greenline Gardens to do their part in expanding the Farm-to-Fork Fellowship. It is a year-round program where students learn about food systems, while growing the food that supplies their school nutrition program.

“We’re a real estate firm, so this in some ways is an adaptive reuse of real estate,” said Jeb Fields, vice president with Commercial Advisors. “How can you live sustainably within a community? Greenline Gardens helps to teach that.”

Commercial Advisors’ workday was under the Cushman & Wakefield Future Leaders (CWFL) Group, of which Fields is a steering committee member. CWFL has four core principles: collaboration, community service, continuing education and communication. Past projects of the nationwide initiative include Habitat for Humanity builds, holiday toy drives for children and a 10K race benefiting veterans wounded in battle.

“Part of the mission of CWFL was philanthropy – giving back to the community that gives to you,” Fields said. “We just thought it was a natural fit for all of us to get together and turn the dirt. It’s with the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy that we’re involved with already and feel very strongly about their mission and what they’re doing here.”

Fields was on the committee that brought back Starry Nights and also helped raise funds for the inaugural Shelby Farms Greenline half marathon, held earlier this month. Larry Jensen, president and CEO of Commercial Advisors, is a founding board member of the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy and remains involved.

With the help of sponsors B&B Specialty Contractors Inc., Hollingsworth Paving Inc. and Pugh’s Earthworks, Commercial Advisors enhanced the teaching garden at Mullins Station and Farm Road by spreading mulch, turning the compost pile, weeding raised beds, and harvesting mustard greens, collard greens and sweet potatoes to be donated to Caritas Village.

The commercial real estate professionals also got their hands dirty by building cinder block for the raised beds, as well as four tables for one of the Hoop Houses, where Shelby Farms Park’s Farm-to-Fork Fellowship will eventually plant crops for the winter season.

The Fellowship works with Memphis City Schools to connect youth to their food while cultivating Memphis’ next generation of urban food system specialists. It also helps to teach underprivileged children who live in the “food desserts,” districts with little to no access to nutritious foods, to maintain a healthy diet.

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