Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Darciea Houston. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Darciea, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Can you share a story that illustrates an important or relevant lesson you learned in school
During undergrad at Paul Quinn College, I was accepted into a program called DukeImmerse. This is where a cohort of Paul Quinn College students with various majors merged with students at Duke University studying at the Nicholas School of Environment. This was a very impactful opportunity. Collectively, DukeImmerse, researched and studied: ecological restoration, social injustice, environmental racism, community planning and outreach together over a semester. One of the assignments given to us by our professors was to survey the areas we spend most of our time within. The goal was for us students to identify and question the businesses that have or make toxic waste or have high exposure to metals. Upon doing so, I learned that my college campus located in the southern sector of Dallas, Texas is disproportionately exposed to more toxins than we were exposed to healthy produce, foods and products, unlike the students at Duke who had simplistic bus access to Whole Foods and about 50 restaurants and or fast-food chains within walking distance. I questioned how effective this project was going to be and how it was going to be used to build a grocery store for Highland Hills. I began to stay involved in the movement to bring awareness to Nationally Food Insecure Neighborhoods and be a part of the solution.
By the end of this cohort, I sought out professional direction and mentorship from Dr. Llaila Afrika an African Holistic Health & Wellness professional to learn wholistic health & wellness that benefits the body. I’ve added my agricultural background to what I’ve learned from DukeImmerse, Dr. Llaila Afrika and Rev Dele with Soil & Souls (an org I worked with in Cuba) as a personal quest to create simplistic agricultural solutions that could eradicate toxins for my family, friends, clients, customers and neighbors. As a farmer, I started to focus on methods and practices needed to heal the land. As a consultant, I help people garden for their health & wellness by using healthy soils. As an author, I write and video planting, growing, harvesting and culinary processes. And, as a community agricultural leader, I host workshops, teach classes, created a professional agricultural organization called Soil Sistah’s and a garden club called Major Melanin Garden Club.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
Darciea Houston, is the founder and CEO of Filthy Rich Nutrients LLC. Filthy Rich Nutrients LLC is a for-profit enterprise that creates convenient access to garden supplies and agricultural information. We manufacture soils, create seasonal garden starter kits for purchase on our website or pickup at a convenient location. Our products and services provide quality, local convenient agricultural products and custom sustainable services for Nationally Recognized Food Insecure Neighborhoods. Our clients desire to garden to improve their health and wellness. Typically, our clients do not have access to local fresh organic produce, agricultural products, services and garden clubs. Filthy Rich Nutrients LLC is the solution.
We often hear about learning lessons – but just as important is unlearning lessons. Have you ever had to unlearn a lesson?
Backstory, in my youth, I really believed that the cities, counties, states or our government were responsible for providing struggling communities with access to fresh produce and that they would immediately arrest corporation leaders for the pollution, enforce laws that reduce access to toxins and shut down businesses that caused harm. I would say things like, “They are supposed to give us a grocery store!” without ever knowing who “they” were. Where do “they” live? What department do “they” work in and for what entity? I began to find fault in my previous thought process, now that I’ve grown to see that processed foods and our access to toxins are huge culprits of bad health.
After that, I experienced an ideocracy moment. I was forced to acknowledge that I’ve been a homeowner since 19 and that I’ve let all of this time pass without growing produce. I was so disappointed in self. For most of my life, I actually had the ability to raise chickens and other birds. I could have grown most produce and purchased healthy produce and products from local communities around Dallas because I know who has what I need. As a result of this, I immediately jumped into my journey of growing healthy soil that will produce healthy produce and herbs to improve the health of the consumer. Ultimately, I believe that I am responsible and nobody cares more about my health than me.
My great health journey is not in the hands of an organization or a business that doesn’t find it necessary to even offer me their products. When I look at it like this, I truly appreciate not being tempted to spend my money on products that are not benefiting me nor the areas that I live or work within. Now I see things differently. Most stores have processed foods and are attached to a Pharmacy. As you will also notice, most health and natural food stores do not have a pharmacy attached or within them. It became clear. I asked myself, “What farm/pharm do you want to be connected to, Darciea?” The absence of processed foods is a good thing. Now, we must provide the products, services, classes, workshops, conferences and to find resources to customers and clients that want to take charge of their own health and wellness, too.
Can you talk to us about how your funded your business?
Capital has always been challenging for me (Darciea Houston). I’m, a serial “mom-preneuer”, was a homeowner, married with 3 children by the age of 22. I created businesses that allowed me to be present, provided an income and flexibility. Also struggling with poverty and humble beginnings, I used student loans and grants for professional development. My family and I used our income, donations, savings, pitch events, our home and our farm to leverage what was and is needed. After my mom passed, we used some of her insurance money to scale up on materials and storage of products. We are currently working with the People Fund to prepare for capital readiness.
- Website: www.FilthyRichNutrients.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/filthyrichnutrients/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100066979344289
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darciea-houston-41a08b160/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUDE3EvxqcD24neBmXvz7CQ
Peek-A-Boo Presents, Promise Houston, The Slate Studio Co-Working Space