Spring is on its way, and soil is being turned in neighborhood and school gardens around the region. When we started Trenton’s first community garden in 1981, we didn’t know how the “grow your own” movement would, well, grow.
The benefits are now clear – you can eat better, cleaner food, save money, improve the environment and most importantly, build community through gardens. Recently, Isles embarked upon a statewide study of the potential for more urban agriculture and what our role might be in furthering this movement. Funded by the Rita Allen Foundation, the study will be released in a few weeks.
Many have heard about food “deserts,” where quality produce is unavailable or expensive at local delis or corner stores in lower income neighborhoods. (This is a good example of how expensive it really is to be poor!). One additional finding is that healthier food is not just an access issue – consumers must demand it, buy good food, and know how to prepare it. As a result, Isles invests in education and changing the culture of food in the region.
As the adage goes, “many hands make light work” and springtime brings out many corporate partners and volunteers for which we are thankful. Helping out in gardens that need extra hands, volunteers often leave feeling physically satisfied and enriched by the experience of working and learning alongside local gardeners and their families. Yes, there is lots of good news in Trenton!