The Village Community Hope Garden Project
HOPE…still growing at the Lower 9th Ward Village.
“I can’t believe this all came from seeds!”, exclaimed Chika, as we watered the small group of happy crops at the Lower 9th Ward Village last Sunday. Right now in the back of the Lower 9th Ward Village, there is a green space where vegetables are growing. Sure, it may not look like much now; but we’ve got big plans for it!
Currently there are three 7’x4’ cinderblock beds and four 2’x6” trellised beds. We’ve got a dozen collard plants doing really well, some wild mustard greens, turnips, and sugar snap peas. We even harvested two big bags of the collards from the garden and gave them away to the first person to show up at our last community meeting.
So…what does gardening have to do with the Lower 9th Ward Village you might ask? Well, the Village is all about community empowerment. What’s more empowering to a community then providing them a space, access to materials, and education on how to grow their own food? That’s what we want the garden to be…a communal space that brings people together to learn about gardening.
Our plans for the summer are to experiment with growing as many crops that would be enjoyed by the community as possible (okra, cucumbers, zucchini, etc). Before the weather gets to be too much, we’re going to host work parties at Hope Garden, inviting people from the community come out and help in the creating infrastructure at the site. Building more beds, tilling the soil, and making rows. We want our set up to be there and ready for the upcoming fall so we can hit the ground running with plants! We plan on hosting many educational events around doing planting, garden up keep, harvesting, and even how to cook with the food that we grow.
Projects like Hope Garden are a part of what makes the Village so precious to the people of the Lower 9th Ward. There is so much potential in that space. It is something that everyone in the community can benefit from. Like a seed that has been planted in the soil…it just needs the right amount of sun, water, and love.