Capstone Community Gardens & Orchards
Capstone Communtiy Gardens and Orchards grows nutritious food and provides it to those who need food at no expense to them. We also encourage and assist others in developing their own household gardens. The Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans is part of a food desert meaning there is inadequate nutritious food available to it inhabitants. Following Hurricane Katrina there is no grocery store closer than 3 1/2 miles, 1/3 of the inhabitants are at low or poverty level income, and 1/3 of the households have no vehicle.
In five years Capstone has grown from one previously vacant lot. In late 2012 and 2013 we have expanded to operating on a total of 30 previously blighted or vacant lots. This has been done through supportive and collaborative effort of multiple organizations. Habitat for Humanity and LowerNine.org have leased Capstone a total of 17 additional vacant lots to use for gardening. With one lot we were able to supplement the food needs af about 12 persons.
We have a 30 tree fruit and citrus orchard we planted in 2013 and have expanded the number of honey bee hives from one to five and now up to 20 with awards from FeastNOLA and Church of the Brethren Global Food Crisis Fund. In 2014 we started a 3 year program, "Sharing Lots" empowering others to grow enough to sell at market.
With the expansion provided by the additional lots we have obtained we are hoping to supplement the food needs of 150 persons and increase that number each year as get get the lots cleared further and into production.
We also hope to continue to expand the number of bee hives with the honey as a source of revenue to offset the cost of the food we give to those in need.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA