Karena Poke is an eco-entrepreneur, garden educator, and farmer. She is known for her pioneering work in translating edible gardens into a viable business model for transforming communities while also reducing chronic diseases in underserved food desert neighborhoods. After becoming a Master Gardener through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in 2014, and with a passion for building healthy communities across the world, Karena launched Lettuce Live.
The Lettuce Live team designs and builds customized edible gardens with teachers, community leaders, corporations, and aspiring gardeners to provide families with more access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Karena designed her first community garden for Aetna Health Care in 2012. Two years later, she launched Lettuce Live, an edible garden firm that builds and manages vegetable gardens and facilitates team-building exercises and workshops for individuals and corporations.
Her projects include building community gardens for Amazon in 2021 and Aetna Health Care in 2012; her first project was with then head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies Lionel Hollins, the NBA Memphis Grizzlies, and UnitedHealthcare.
As a thought leader and passionate advocate for reforming the food industry, in 2021, Poke formed the Black Growers Association (BGA) to make the farm-to-table experience more profitable for Black and Brown growers. Our platform makes it easy for restaurants, grocers, and individuals seeking to connect to growers of color across the country to do so with ease.
Learn more about Karena’s work at www.LettuceLive.org, or follow her on Instagram (@LettuceliveUrbanFarm) and Facebook (@LettuceLive).
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