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Murray Hill Apartment Gardens

Story Type: Volunteer Stories

How We Helped: Nutritious Food

In August 2014, Jessica stopped by Care and Share to ask Donna Ross, our Garden and Kitchen Manager, some questions about gardening. Jessica was determined to create a garden at the Murray Hill Apartment Community where there was a large outdoor space overgrown with weeds. She approached her landlord about creating a garden for the residents of the apartment because she wanted to show her own children, and the other children living there, “that you can take piece of dirt and change what it does.” After a lot of hard work, she transformed an unused plot of land into a beautiful resource.

The garden has not only provided a supply of fresh, nutritious vegetables, said Jessica. “We’re growing a community because of the garden. Our community wanted to talk to each other, know each other, trust each other, but they had no reason to interact. Now children are coming home with fresh radishes and herbs and their parents are very proud of them. Everybody has been nicer to each other.” Ultimately, the garden has helped Jessica and her neighbors increase their access to healthy foods and reduce stress.

The garden has been a great outlet for Jessica, who is battling with medical problems that forced her to put her college education on hold. One of the children living in the complex has autism, and gardening has been beneficial for him too. Jessica said that he “has really has a hard time interacting, but when I sit down to weed, he likes to sit on the other side of me and we just sit in the garden for hours quietly weeding.” She encourages everyone to build their own gardens and would love to help other apartments in this endeavor.

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