Finally, an obsession with positive consequences has emerged in Richmond!
Richmond.com's Katherine Houstoun penned an excellent piece this week on the explosion of urban gardens throughout the City of Richmond. It's a must-read, and a welcome departure from the incessant cry of "Garden Wars!" that springs forth every Wednesday.
One truly great example? The production farm at the William Byrd Community Center:
"We are thinking of this as a production farm," said Patty Parks, the woman behind the William Byrd Community House's Urban Farmlet in Oregon Hill. "Our goal is to have enough produce for our children in the early childhood program to take home a bag of produce each week."
There are 30 three- and four-year-olds in William Byrd's early childhood program, and many of them have already been exposed to the idea of growing fresh food through the organization's community garden, which started in 2006, and the weekly on-site farmers market, where the children often sample vendors' wares. The new farmlet aims to bring the lessons of fresh food home to the children's families.
"For our first crop, the children in early childhood cut lettuce, cleaned it and prepared a salad," said Robert Bolling, the executive director at William Byrd, which also offers after-school programs, youth services and family support and emergency services. "Then they took that story home to their families, and they share those over and over again and it goes around the community."