Teamwork makes the dreamwork

While playing football for the University of Michigan, Vincent Smith and Martavious Odoms decided they wanted to help make sustainable positive changes in communities. One thing University of Michigan emphasizes is group projects and the idea behind Team Gardens is to have a group project that combines the skills of U of M Alumni’s varied and valuable skill set.

Pahokee lacks access to fresh vegetables and there are no grocery stores. After I graduated I wanted to do something with my education to help my community make healthier choices.
— Vincent Smith

In 2012, Team Gardens started planning for Vincent and Martavious’ hometown of Pahokee, Florida. Since Pahokee was once the “Winter Vegetable Capital of the World” it seemed that the best option was to use gardening to provide healthy food for residents.

Now Pahokee citizens have access to fresh starfruit, tangerines, guavas, oranges, lemons, mulberries, bananas, and more. Pahokee was once the vegetable capital of the world and is known for its rich black soil also called "The Muck".

After success in Pahokee, we expanded north to Michigan and began working in Flint and Ann Arbor and now in Detroit.



Decrease in repeat offenses for participants in a garden program in Sandusky, Ohio.


Increase in positive outlook for participants of a garden elementary school program.


Decrease in aggression at age 17 in young adults with diets rich in vitamins and minerals.