Gardens have a unique way of breaking down barriers and uniting people. When children participate in growing their own vegetables, it creates deep connections to food. When parents can step outside their front door and pick fresh vegetables for dinner, healthy eating becomes easier. When people begin to understand of the dangers of processed foods, they make better choices. We have seen communities unite and become empowered in the Health in the Hood vegetable gardens.

It has been my experience that people are inherently attracted to growing our own food. There is a power and deep satisfaction, especially in today’s food system, to know precisely where your food comes from. There is great power in producing something that is good for you and good for the planet.

As an urban farmer specializing in community vegetable gardens in low- income neighborhoods, it is my privilege to provide fresh food for families who lack access to healthy options. I challenge us all to think about food access differently. We need to change the conversation about how we view vacant land — rather than a deficit, maybe that empty lot or rooftop, even your front yard, is actually a community asset.

Growing our own food is disruptive in the best way. By simply planting seeds we can reclaim our food system. The solution is simple: Let’s plant seeds everywhere we can! Seeds that will feed communities and embed the solution in the fabric of society for people to see and experience and eat! The future of food is local, so let’s get growing!

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