Ever since the whole COVID-19 pandemic became an incredible hinderance upon our lives, people have been scrambling for new ways to source food. One of those ways is perceived to be very simple – planting gardens that yield vegetables. While that might seem sensible and natural, it’s not. Families can not simply walk out into their yards, till some soil, plant some seeds, and wait for the vegetables to grow. Before planting edible gardens, soil must be tested to ensure that its clean. This ensures that the vegetables do not contain any toxins.
In neighborhoods where COVID-19 is rampant, it’s even more important for families to have access to healthy foods. That’s where the WNY collaborative Seeding Resilience comes into play. The organization, made up of urban and regional growers, community residents, and organizations, is now helping to provide free materials and supplies to 50 eligible families in the following zip codes: 14215, 14213, 14211, 14209, 14208, 14207, 14204
These families will be given the necessary resources to build raised-bed or container gardens in their front or backyards, at no cost. All of the tools, resources, and knowledge will be passed along, to ensure that these efforts are as fruitful as possible.
Freedom Gardens will use the educational curriculum of Soul Fire Farms located in Troy NY to lift up the gardening and farming expertise of Black growers.
This food security initiative, called Freedom Gardens, is being organized and supported by Food for the Spirit/Buffalo Food Equity Network, Grassroots Gardens WNY, CopperTown Block Club, Access To A-Free-Ka, the Juneteenth Agricultural Pavilion Committee, and the Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo.
The initiative will also provide information on nutritional values to families, so that they can begin to source, healthy, organic, and sustainable agriculture right in their own neighborhoods.
Freedom Gardens is supported by WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund, local philanthropic organizations collaborating to address the most critical needs in our community. Learn more at www.uwbec.org/covidfund.
Lead image: Photo by Conscious Design