Fresh produce service provides boost to Black farmers during pandemic
DURHAM, NC (WTVD) — By now, most people know about the industry built around subscriptions to prepackaged meals, delivered in boxes to the homes of busy consumers. But now there’s a new service, Tall Grass Food Box, with deep roots in local soil.
A trio of local entrepreneurs, Gabrielle E. W. Carter, Derrick Beasley and Gerald C. Harris, came up with the concept that’s providing a lifeline for Black farmers.
“We’re creating a platform for them to become more visible,” said Carter, “and for people to reach out to them on their own outside of Tall Grass Food Box.”
She and her partners saw the need, with traditional Black farms already hurting before the pandemic forced major changes on the food buying routines of many households. So they went online at and signed up 200 subscribers, who pay $48 for boxes loaded with local produce and a dozen fresh eggs that the trio provides biweekly.
“We’ve got okra, we’ve got eggplant, we have corn, tomatoes, beautiful heirloom tomatoes,” among the produce they pack in subscriber boxes, Carter said. “And what we’ve been doing is sourcing them from different farmers, so that’s a fun opportunity to kind of mix up the variety.”
Now, four months after starting Tall Grass, Carter says the service has paid Black farmers about $27,000.