NEW YORK: A collection of vacant lots and other unused land in the Bronx, gardeners from low-income areas come together to create more than a dozen “farm centers” to create community gardens and crops.
Some years ago, some realized that their small gardens could work together to produce enough hot peppers to produce hot soup. To be fair, the Bronx Hot South is a re-branded business in the community.
During the outbreak, the Bronx Agricultural Center reaffirmed its power and produced healthy crops such as garlic, cabbage and coriander greens.
“The secret is to learn from the epidemic and really improve our resilience,” said Raymond Figueroa Rayes, president of the New York City Community Garden Association.
“When the plague broke out, urban agriculture became very productive. Food donations are not enough in quantity and quality, so people are honored by waiting for that kind of charity. I understand that there is no such thing. ”
Agricultural centers are part of a national urban horticultural movement that aims to empower poor rural people by encouraging the development of fresh food.
Healthy, fresh food (in both urban and rural areas) are rarely called “food deserts” and are prone to other diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. .. In cities where many do not separate this issue from deep racial and social issues, some community leaders prefer words such as “food prisons” and “food apartheid.”
Los Angeles’ Ron Finley has been at the forefront of urban gardening for many years. He sees the garden as a medicine and an act of rebellion.
“Raising your own food is like printing your own money,” says Finley, who manages the nonprofit Ron Finley project. “It’s not just about food, it’s about freedom. It is our revolution and our ecology. ”
Finley grew up in south-central Los Angeles and said he had to drive for 45 minutes to find fresh tomatoes. Efforts to motivate communities through gardening include planting vegetables on abandoned sidewalks and other unused land, and teaching audiences around the world how to grow food. is it.
Millions of Americans live in neighborhoods where there are no healthy eating options. The same area attracts fast food in fast food restaurants, pharmacies and convenience stores.
“Driving kills more people in our society than driving,” says Finley. “I want people to get back to reality, to touch the ground and get back some of what was stolen. When sown, it grows. It is a currency. It is a treasure. It gives power. It is more than food. “
Karen Washington, who has spent decades promoting urban agriculture in the Bronx, says it is about “food justice.” (She helped coordinate the pepper farm that brought hot broth to the Bronx. The company she worked with, the Little Ax Pepper, now produces peppers that grow in Queens, Detroit, Chicago, Oakland and other cities. I use it to make hot soups.)
“Healthy food is a human right with clean water,” he said.
Washington, a member of the New York Botanical Garden Board, is working with neighbors to turn vacant lands into community gardens and deliver affordable fresh produce grown on community gardens and northern farms to weekly farmers’ markets. We support the launch of the city’s agricultural market. The Bronx.
She was the co-founder and founder of the Black Farmers Fund, with the goal of gaining access to capital for black farmers and entrepreneurs.
Cowid has had a profound effect on people who want to make their own food. Washington says more and more people are growing food on balconies and gardens across cities across the country.
Before the vaccine was released, COVID was really urgent in the early stages. You need to start a healthy diet, especially if you plan to fight the virus, especially in areas with diabetes and obesity, ”said Washington. Eat.
“We have to go to these unused areas and produce food,” he said. There is a concerted effort to organize farming centers with the aim of further developing the immune system and delivering it to the most important ones.
Through the Bronx Green App, the New York Plants Garden has long provided technical support to community gardens. Epidemics We have worked directly with community farms to increase our efforts in the event of a pandemic. Conduct bi-weekly meetings to help resolve problems, share resources, and distribute crops. We supply more than 10,000 plant and vegetable seedlings.
“We have worked with long-term community partners at the beginning of the epidemic and we have realized that food security is always a big problem in the Bronx,” said Ursula Chans, director of the program.
“There is definitely more demand for community gardens and more urban farmland,” she says.
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