The group, called the Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Cooperative — or BUGS, for short — is preparing to cultivate the neglected land with all kinds of organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, including peppers, squashes, cabbage, collard greens.
By Jake Flannick
Aug 5, 2017
A grass-roots group of gardeners and community activists is turning two overgrown lots in Homewood into an urban farm, seeking to expand access to healthy food and improve the collective well-being of this once-fertile neighborhood.
“We’ll always be growing food,” said Dana Harris-Yates, a shaman medicine woman who uses “AL” after her name, a Moorish title indicating “one who mastered psychology and healing.” She is a program manager for the BUGS group and is overseeing the Homewood project.
Tucked along Monticello Street, a residential side street in Homewood North, the two lots stretch over a total of 31,000 square feet. They are about a half-block from Westinghouse High School, where teachers and students created an organic garden this past spring.
In addition to providing food, the land would serve as an outdoor classroom for middle and high school students as well as a space for people to practice meditation, reiki, yoga and the like.