Welcome to the fifth installment of Grow Pittsburgh’s Grower’s Spotlight, an ongoing series highlighting local growers of all kinds and experience that we hope teaches, inspires, and strenghtens our community of growers here in Pittsburgh. Today we’re thrilled to feature Ebony Lunsford-Evans, owner of Farmer Girl Eb, her business selling the produce that she grows at a number of plots throughout the West End and North Side . Learn more about Ebony below and be sure to follow her on Instagram to keep up with all of the Farmer Girl Eb happenings!

GP: When did you first start growing food?

Ebony: As I was growing up, I was always growing something. When I became a mom, I always liked growing things with my daughter too, be it a houseplant, a flower, or some kind of vegetable. I became more seriously interested in growing a little over 5 years ago. I’m pretty much self-taught: everything I know is from a lot of experimenting and plenty of research.

GP: Tell us about Farmer Girl Eb.

Ebony: With Farmer Girl Eb, I consult as a farm and garden educator as well as sell fresh produce, herbs, plants and flowers. I also make and sell smudges, teas, syrups, and tinctures.

GP: What’s a change you’d like to see in the food justice and urban agriculture movements?

Ebony: The fact that there are still food deserts where there are seriously hard working people. If I drive 10 miles down the highway, there are huge farms with so many resources and benefits all in one combined space. When I visit those farms, many times I am the only black person in sight. I want people to be able to walk out of their doors in their city neighborhood to those types of benefits. I want that for everyone in every community.

GP: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to someone new to growing?

Ebony: Find a network of other growers who share their experiences and knowledge with ease. Sometimes you run into someone who doesn’t seem to want to collaborate, and that’s fine because there are so many other people who do!

GP: What’s your favorite thing to grow?

Ebony: That’s hard! I learn to grow something new every year and I feel like it becomes my favorite. I’ll go with tomatoes because they were the first that I learned to grow. Watching different varieties grow is exciting. Sometimes it’s like watching a rainbow transform in front of my eyes.

GP: Anything else you want to share?

Ebony: I am hoping to have my own storefront for Farmer Girl Eb really soon. I’ve started a clothing line called Produce Fresh. We were supposed to launch this past spring but due to COVID, we’re pushing it to next spring. Stay tuned!

Know another local gardener you’d like to see in the Growers Spotlight? Maybe it’s you! Drop us a line to be featured in our next newsletter or on our blog.