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Meet Ples Montgomery IV of The Oak Cliff Veggie Project

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ples Montgomery IV.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ples. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The Oak Cliff Veggie Project started as a passion project of my Mother, Bettie Montgomery. She set out on a mission to help provide produce and health information, once a month, in the Singing Hills neighborhood of Oak Cliff. That was six years ago. In 2017 as my schedule began to change, I was able to work with her and we started discussing increasing the scale of the distribution and adding a community garden to the operation. The next year we built our first community garden and incorporated as The Oak Cliff Veggie Project with our mission to cultivate a healthier, stronger, more self-reliant community. Today we manage three community gardens with plans to start three more by the end of 2020. Our donation-based produce distribution has increased from once a month to three times a month. We have partnered with several other community-based non-profits and small food-based business to provide produce and education to historically under-served communities of Dallas’ southern sector.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Building this project as certainly been no crystal stair. However, the people we have met and the relationships we have built along the way have been just as rare and beautiful. Indeed the struggle itself has been a beautiful one. I say that because reaching the community and reintroducing the practice of community cultivation as a centerpiece that defines what a neighborhood and community has been the main struggle. The beauty we have found is in how much we find that people care for each other. How many neighbors are able to reconnect with each other. And how much giving and garden work influences health and wellness.

Please tell us about The Oak Cliff Veggie Project.
The Oak Cliff Veggie Project is a 501(c)3 compliant non-profit on a mission to cultivate a healthier, stronger and more self-reliant community. Our project programs include: The Veggie Store Initiative, The Cultivate The Community Garden Initiative, The Garden Warriors Initiative and The Kitchen Warriors Initiative. These programs are designed to empower traditionally under-served communities with the knowledge and resources to control what they eat and how they eat it. We view each other with a great love and understanding. And that we try to extend this love and understanding to oppressed people all over the city. I think that we differ from some other groups only in our choosing to express this view through the timeless practice of community cultivation. Choosing to feed yourself rather than being fed by a system that cares not for your health, both mentally and physically, is the most basic of revolutionary acts that a person can make. We intend to foment this understanding of revolution by any means necessary.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory is watching Nolan Ryan beat the crap out of Robin Ventura at Rangers Stadium.


  • You can support our mission by purchasing a raised bed growbox complete with soil and seedling for $100.00

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