TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Amid the hustle and bustle of downtown Troy sits a beautiful flower garden teeming with life. It’s the dream of Shanice Fleming who just this year started an all new business — Queenz Cut Flower Farm.

“Troy — the city itself — is paved. A lot of parking lots, a lot of cement, and there aren’t many public green spaces or green spaces, period,” she explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.

Fleming says with the help of a friend who owns Second Street Farm, she was able to put down new roots and grow her business. It wasn’t easy moving from being a rare face in first the restaurant industry and now in farming.

“I was working in kitchens when there weren’t many people who look like me, right? And then I transition into something else where it’s the same thing, and it’s hard,” she says.

Fleming says she wants to break the mold on what defines “the American farmer”. When she took to GoFundMe to raise money for seeds and supplies, the platform took notice.

“There is so much magic when people rally around someone’s dream, and whether that is growing a business or helping a community thrive or a combination of both like Shanice’s story,” says Kelsea Little, GoFundMe’s Head of Brand Storytelling.

Fleming has now been recognized as a “GoFundMe Hero” for her dedication to creating a safe space for Black and indigenous people in agriculture. She says she hopes to continue spreading her love for the Earth, for following your passions, and to share that with the Capital Region community.

“I feel something while I’m in the field. Like I feel something when I’m growing flowers, and you can’t give in. You can’t give up,” she says.

Fleming has passed her $6,000 crowdfunding goal on GoFundMe and has extended it so she can further her growing season and venture into new plants to grow. Click here to support Queenz Cut Flower Farm.