Teens learn to farm and lead

September 18, 2010 at 8:48 pm Leave a comment

By Dee Reid

Sharada

When I pulled up in front of the SEEDS community and youth garden in Durham, conveniently located next to the Food Bank, I was amazed to see huge vegetable gardens on both sides of the street. After entering the first section, I realized it was even bigger than what I had seen from my car.  There were community plots, a Seedling Garden for children, a green house and hoop house, compost bins, clay-bale oven, hand-made pond, mushroom logs, herbs, pollinator garden, a fire pit, sheltered outdoor classroom, and beautiful murals. All just past the railroad tracks in east Durham.

Even more impressive, my tour guides were inner-city teens who knew a heck of a lot about farming. Sharada Fozard-McCall and Vianey Martinez love learning, growing, cooking and talking about it — all part of their jobs as year-round crew members of SEEDS DIG program (Durham Innercity Gardeners). They especially love selling produce and flowers at the Durham Farmer’s Market.

“We learn so much that adults come to us now for knowledge,” said Vianey.  And, they get paid. “It’s pretty awesome,” said Sharada.

The community garden beds are leased to local residents on a sliding fee scale ranging from $1 to $35 a year.

Vianey

Their DIG garden is across the street and includes vegetable, flower and herb beds, bee hives, and a shed with a rooftop garden and cisterns.

“Alot of time, effort and love went into this,” said Vianey.

And it shows.

— SEEDS was one of two dozen farms on the Eastern Triangle Farm Tour this week-end. Photos by SEEDS.

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Entry filed under: Community Gardening, Learning, Sustainable Farming, Sustainable Food, Urban Farming. Tags: , , , , .

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