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Community gardens sharing with the needy

January 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Community gardens are a great way of providing food for needy families, and they are also a great project for school children. Now there's a push to create community gardens in the Inland Empire city of Calimesa.The community garden program in Redlands was established years ago to keep senior citizens active. The city supplies 20 by 20 foot plots of land and water for $16 a year.

Diana Lawson says it is amazing the amount of food and vegetables that can be grown on a small plot of land, even in winter: snap beans, broccoli, lettuce, strawberries. While most plants are dormant, in the growing season, it's something to behold.

"Spring time, summer it is full of life. You have zucchini, corn, tomatoes, and everybody shares if you have an extra batch of tomatoes or something. Because a lot of times you cannot eat everything that you grow," said Lawson.

That idea of sharing food is behind an effort in the city of Calimesa to establish a number of community gardens.

The idea is to grow produce for the growing number of needy.

"Given the current economic down turn perhaps we should make a investment in our community -- one that the whole community can benefit from. The logical outcome of those conversations was a community garden," said Nannette Peykani, Calimesa Chamber of Commerce.

"Our excess we want to donate to the needy. We are all going through such a tough time right now. What a better time for us all to cling together and work together as a community," said nursery owner, Dennis Morgan.

"I remember the victory gardens as a small child during WWII. My father made a victory garden between the sidewalk and the street," said gardener, Le Fauecettic.

This is 1 of 3 community gardens in Redlands that has been around for quite a few years. The city of Loma Linda is making plans. And in Calimesa they will be meeting in two weeks to see if they can get their program underway.


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