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Urban Gardening

Duron, tell me, what exactly
is Ginter Urban Gardeners?>>The Ginter Urban
Gardener Program is a 12-week training program that is designed to
teach community residents sustainable horticulture
and agriculture, urban garden design,
project management, and volunteer coordination. The training centers
around this idea of community trust building, so it’s a lot of
personal development, but our emphasis
is on authenticity, building a team,
being inclusive, all to support
community green spaces. They have community members
have the knowledge and skills of how to develop green space, then those spaces have
a higher likelihood of being sustainable
and resilient.>>Alexandra, how did
Trinity Family Life Center get involved with this?>>We’re a social
enterprise model here, which means that
85% of the money that we raise as a nonprofit,
we raise ourselves, and then the other 15%, we get from government
contracts and grants. And so we have a child
development center, so we also have a restaurant,
we have a fitness center, health and wellness programs, we work in Richmond
City Public Schools, working with young boys
in sixth and eighth grade on our Rites of
Passage Programs, and then we do parenting classes for Henrico Social Services
and Henrico Drug Court. So all of our participants
will have an opportunity and be trained to build
their own garden plots, and we wanna make sure that we’re teaching
people how to fish. So then not only will
they have their plot here, but they’ll be able to do
things in their community, at home, teach children, and kinda have a generational
information sharing.>>You just mentioned that
you can give a man a fish, or you can teach him to fish, so this is what you are
doing here with this project.>>Yes. Ultimately, we’re gonna
have a pergola out here, grill, a smoker, a fire pit, we have a stage area to have community
events or rain garden.>>So we’ll be installing
rain catchment systems that will capture water
from off of the roof and then use that water to water the plantings
that have been made here.>>So there’s so much more
than just growing vegetables or growing vegetation here.>>Yeah! At the core of it,
we’re growing community. I like the idea of
stackable functions. So the green spaces and the
gardens provide this opportunity for us to address
food access issues, also to address
environmental issues, and also provide a place for
communities to come together, learn and grow, and
build deeper levels of relationship
with one another.>>That’s fantastic! And something else
that’s fantastic too is that accessibility is something that’s at
the core of this project and making food that’s
local and grown right here.>>Certainly.
>>Accessible to the neighbors.>>Certainly, certainly. We have to drive efforts
towards fostering food justice, where communities have
ownership over the solutions. So proximity, of course, is
an element of accessibility. Awareness is another
element of access. But I think the idea of
it being fresh, organic, grown right here by
people in the community is the ultimate test of
the accessibility of it. And so that’s why
it’s so important that social enterprise efforts are integrated into
food justice programming so that folks can learn about
the monetization of local food and how they can
insert themselves into a food systems
conversation, not just the production of
food, but also the processing, turning some of the things
that have been grown into value-added products.>>It’s something
bigger and grander than I even
envisioned years ago. So I’m extremely grateful
and honored to have him and but also to
have participated in the Ginter Urban
Gardeners Program.>>Do you have any final words?>>I hope to see more people get
involved in their community. Green space is one of
the most dynamic ways for folks that have
different passions to all find one common ground. Everyone has to eat. We all live on the same planet. And if we can find ways to
learn how to care for the earth, and also care for
ourselves simultaneously, it’s a great way for
us to cross-devise that may be coming to the fore in this tumultuous time
that we live in, so yeah.>>Fantastic. Thank you both! (bright music)

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