Garden is oasis amidst West Palm food desert

Posted at 1:52 PM, Dec 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-24 18:52:19-05

Dora Spencer prefers her produce straight from the source.

"Organic food, no preservatives," she says. "Everything naturally grown."

For many people around Henrietta Avenue, not only is the Urban Growers Community Farm the best source for veggies, it's the only source.

"This location is the middle of a classical food desert," says Stewart Bosley, the founder of the farm. "People who live around the growing center have to go 2.5 miles in any direction to get get fresh produce."

He says in a few short years, the idea of a community garden here has blossomed, with plenty of room left to grow.

"This is the beginning of an acre and a half of produce. We're trying to feed the people in the neighborhood," Bosley says. 

Bosley says an Environmental Protection Agency grant West Palm Beach applied for just last week could help with that mission.

Commercial development on the property over the years has left it contaminated.

"The ground around here is borderline toxic, so we can't grow in the ground," Bosley says. "Which is one of the reasons why I put carpet down and I'm growing in pots."

Getting the grant will allow them to replace the soil, providing them a more traditional gardening operation.

It should cut down on costs and allow for expansion.

It's expansion that Spencer says could benefit everyone.

"He might be able to offer some people some jobs to help," she says.

Bosley says they are always looking for donations to keep things going at the garden.

Just last month, the water bill for the garden was $500.

Click here to learn how you can make a donation to the project.