By Johnnie Grant –
Community Gardens are trending these days as people try to avoid ingesting GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and live healthier lifestyles.
Community gardens also combat forms of alienation that plague modern urban life by bringing residents closer in touch with their sources of food; they also break down social isolation experienced by many in a community.
Community gardens also provide other social benefits, such as a focal point for community organizing, efforts to deal with social concerns, the sharing of food-production knowledge, and safer living spaces.
With that in mind, a large community garden project is underway behind the Arthur R. Edington Center, formerly known as the Reid Center in the Southside community. This area has long been known as a “food desert.”
Carolina Arias of local nonprofit Green Opportunities is the current garden manager. She works with a small number of community members who are involved in the process of planning, planting, and garden upkeep. The call goes out to anyone who can find some time to come and help with the gardening on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., or on any day during the week.
Yields from the garden will be available for sale at a very low fee, or free of charge. Some of the vegetables will go to supply the Southside Kitchen as well as members of the community. Some will be used to make value-added products, such as pickled okra, cucumber, and peppers to sell at the Choctaw Street Farmstand. The sale of some vegetables will also generate income to help keep the garden going.
For more information on this and other projects in this community contact Green Opportunities (www.greenopportunities.org) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or phone (828) 398-4158.