Williamson Community Garden of Eatin'
The Williamson Community Garden of Eatin’ can be found across from the Williamson Towers, a housing development for low wealth residents. Many of our gardeners live at the Williamson Towers and are elderly and disabled. Last year over 15 families grew their own food and directly benefitted from the raised garden plots; this year we intend to serve more than 20 families.
The goal of implementing a community garden in Williamson was to increase access to local food in Mingo County. Our main goal for 2014 is to increase youth involvement in the community gardens by encouraging and supporting participation this spring. This will help create a more sustainable local food system in the future, and will empower children and their families to achieve greater levels of food self-reliance.
Williamson is located in what the USDA calls a "food desert,” "a census tract with a substantial share of residents who live in low-income areas that have low levels of access to a grocery store or healthy, affordable food retail outlet." Mingo County residents consume about 1.7 pounds of prepared foods and 0.6 pounds of “packaged sweet snacks” for every pound of fruits and vegetables they consume.
In April of 2012, the Williamson Redevelopment Authority gathered community partners together for the ribbon cutting at the garden, which was named after a local contest was held on Facebook and at the Williamson Farmers Market. Just one year later, thanks to the help of service learning volunteer groups, there are now over 30 raised gardening beds for community members to grow their own food. Additionally, the groups constructed 12 arbors that will be used to grow grapes and other edible vine plants for sale within the community. Plots are rented to community members for only $5 for an 8’x3’ space.
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