Alyssa Kail started at Grow Pittsburgh as an apprentice three years ago and is now the head grower at Braddock Farms. Alyssa has a background in environmental science, sustainability, and creative reuse, but farming speaks to her on a visceral level. “I get to work with my hands and quite literally see the fruits of my labor,” Kail says.

Small-scale farming suits Kail. “What draws me to Braddock Farms is that it has a really great mission as far as wanting to provide food to a community without access to fresh foods—I know that because I live here,” says Kail, who lives in Braddock in a house she bought on Craigslist.

“The setting is really wonderful, being on this busy avenue. I think that nowadays, people are disconnected from fresh food and what that looks like. If people take a moment and turn their heads as they drive or walk by they can encounter food growing on a daily basis. Being next to the steel mill helps classify (farming) as an industry: we are laboring to create something,” says Kail.

Alyssa’s talents aren’t relegated to the garden: as an artist and former creative reuse professional, she operates a small handcrafted home goods business with her husband. Kail hopes to bring that creativity into the garden to create beautiful, useful fixtures that add utility and beauty to Braddock Farms.