Purple corn and “ugly” vegetables: how neighbors build sustainable urban farms in Michigan

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Israel Ledesma of Habitat for Humanity Kent County and Maria Moreno-Reyes are proud of the garden the community has built. Photo by Adam Bird.

“We don’t discard what a lot of farms would consider seconds.” Leftover produce is donated to Haven of Rest or to local food pantries.

By Claire Charlton
Model D
March 12, 2019

Excerpt:

A portion of the garden is dedicated to community gathering and relaxation.
At the same time, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County was seeking community input about how to beautify the neighborhood. Moreno-Reyes had her eye on the vacant land, hoping Habitat could acquire it. “I said we could do a welcome garden or something, and they thought I was crazy,” says Moreno-Reyes. “But I knew it would be utilized. Parents come to pick their kids up from school and then sit around in conversation, waiting for the bell to ring. What better place to have a garden?”

The plan started to take hold, and pretty soon, neighbors were tilling, fertilizing, and growing crops. “Maybe eight families got together and rented from Habitat a 3 by 20 foot space for $5. We were able to grow peppers and tomatoes,” says Moreno-Reyes. Eventually the neighbors pieced together a short fence and dubbed the space Roosevelt Park Community Garden.

Read the complete article here.

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