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  • Olivia Morrison

Community Garden!

Rochester, New York has the second highest rate of food insecurity in all of New York State. In 2018, 35.3 million tons of food went to landfills, and from 2007-2014 38.9% of annual food waste per capita in the U.S. was fresh fruits and vegetables. Community gardens offer solutions to these problems, and help to combat food insecurity in areas that are prone to food deserts.

What is a food desert? A food desert is an area with a concentrated population with little to no access to healthy nutritious foods due to economic barriers and physical barriers (lack of public transportation, unwalkable cities, etc.)

Auburn University’s Office of Sustainability identifies numerous benefits of community gardening in dense urban areas:

- Improved nutrition

- Increase in physical activity

- Community enrichment

- Decrease in anxiety, depression, and stress

Culture Society Incorporated is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to install a community garden for residents within the Rochester area. Located at 7 Evergreen Street, Rochester, NY, the community garden provides a clean outdoor space and raised garden beds for individuals to grow their own produce. Anyone outside the immediate residential community is required to purchase a buy-in (prices specified on our website) which covers the cost of constructing the individual plot / raised bed, filling it, and reserves your first season of growing! All future seasons will be at a reduced price once the plot is established, and you start gardening. The project, “Milpa: The Urban Community Gardening Initiative” is named after the Indigenous Mesoamerican system of agriculture. Culture Society strives to honor this sustainable Indigenous way of food production and the multitude of benefits it yields.

The Urban Community Gardening Initiative is made possible entirely with volunteer time and energy. The community garden is a place to socialize and foster a sense of unity and thus cannot function without the help of each and every individual doing their part to keep it that way.

For more information call director Christopher Fernandez at (914) 438- 6896 or email chrisfernandez@culturesociety.org

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