Dj Cavem Moetavation (Ietef Vitae) is all about seeds. He plants seeds in the soil to grow healthy food, sure, but he also plants the seeds of lifestyle change in kids. For him, these efforts are one and the same: they both hold the power to “sprout that life”—that life being a culture of wellness, for people and for the earth. He’s an urban grower, plant-based chef, educator, musician, and activist dedicated to healthier communities.
While he’s never been more certain that true success is health, that belief took lots of TLC. He grew up in the Five Points district of Denver, a historically Black neighborhood where processed food was wealth. You were cool if you came to school with a Big Mac, but kale? Not so much.
Ietef was raised to see this differently. With an artist-activist mother, he spent time as a kid around family and community elders who grew food. He considers himself lucky, because most of his peers didn’t get a chance to experience this kind of urban gardening at a young age—he recalls planting his first apricot tree at age three. He saw lines of folks waiting for government-assisted processed food at churches, but he also remembers eating pears, peaches, and watermelons from out of a neighbor’s pick-up truck.
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