Lots of Food transforms vacant lots into public food gardens

Updated: 07/30/2014 5:44 PM
Created: 07/30/2014 4:33 PM WHEC.com
By: Josh Nichols

They were once areas with abandoned homes and lots. Now, new gardens are sprouting up all around Rochester.

As the Flower City, Rochester takes great pride in its gardens. Sometimes though, it can be a challenge to create a successful garden in an urban landscape. 

Patty Love is not just a gardener, she is a visionary.

Patty Love, Director of Lotsoffood.org, said, “Lots of Food is about growing food on lots, especially on empty urban lots or lots that are being mowed as lawn, right now, where we could be growing food instead. The idea is with these lots, we can produce lots. We can produce lots of food. We have a number of people, not only living in poverty, but living in food deserts, areas where they don’t have access to fresh healthy food. All of those things are really important to changing the fabric of our community and uplifting everyone."

To do that, Lots of Food transforms land that is misused or not used into perennial gardens. It takes a lot of time and effort, but sowing those seeds reaps a lot of benefits and food.

Joe DiFiore, volunteer gardener, said, “We have a ton of stuff here and the idea is to try and fill ever inch we can. We grow collards, squash and blueberries and less common things like cabbage or sedum."

All of the food is free. All people have to do is harvest it.

Love said, “It's important to create a new vision for people to show them what's possible and also to give them the tools to do that."

There are a dozen gardens across the Rochester area with the goal of producing more in the years ahead. That not only means more useful greenspace in our cities, but it also means free access to good quality food, which is a huge service to support the health and nutrition of our community. 

For more information, including how you can help volunteer with Lots of Food, click here.

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