(WSVN) - A South Florida group is on a mission to provide healthy food by creating a garden of possibilities for their neighbors. 7’s Alex Browning has more in our 7 Spotlight.
It takes a lot of work to keep a garden growing in South Florida.
Lisa Torres, volunteer: “Today was mostly weeding and getting a great bountiful harvest of arugula, of mixed greens, and some rosemary and parsley.”
Most mornings, you can spot a group at work watering, pulling weeds and tending to hundreds of plants.
And it’s all for a good cause.
Will Sidwell, garden manager: “With the space like this, one acre, there’s so much food that you can produce, just in a small space for a local community.”
Will Sidwell is the manager of the Patricia Davis Community Garden in Pompano Beach.
The land was transformed back in 2018 when the city and the community redevelopment agency turned three vacant lots in the Blanche Ely neighborhood into an urban garden.
Will Sidwell: “So it’s for this neighborhood to come and enjoy and see, get education of what we’re growing.”
Neighbors can even rent their own plot in the garden for a small fee and grow whatever they choose.
Lisa Torres: “Peppers. They are coming out nicely. They look really cute.”
Lisa Torres jumped at the chance to get her hands dirty.
Lisa Torres: “So we did things that were quickly — once you put them in the ground, the seeds in the ground — they would come out quickly, so you have a sense of accomplishment.”
Instead of buying vegetables at the store, she grows her own. She’s also getting to meet her neighbors.
Lisa Torres: “This has been a great way to reach out to my neighbors where I live. I just come by and say, ‘Here, mixed greens,’ or, ‘Here, some herbs.'”
And garden volunteers produce some 2,000 pounds of produce right here in Pompano Beach. The majority of it is donated; the rest is sold to families here in South Florida.
Will Sidwell: “Some mustard greens for ya, and over here, we’ve got some tomatoes and green beans for ya.”
People can sign up to buy a weekly bag, full of whatever is in season, for just $20.
The money is used to help with the garden’s upkeep.
Will Sidwell: “I believe 130 people signed up for that program. We’re really passionate about giving out fresh produce to the local community.”
While the garden is geared toward helping provide food for lower income families, everyone is welcome.
Will Sidwell: “You can just show up, walk right through the gate, and we’ll just start gardening. I’ll teach you how to farm!”
With the farming comes sweat and hard work. But to all of these gardeners, it’s a labor of love.
Alex Browning, 7News.
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