Millbrook Community Garden is a start-up garden located in Millbrook Houses, a development owned and operated by the New York City Housing Authority(NYCHA) in the South Bronx. The South Bronx is a food dessert. Millbrook residents have few healthy food choices. While local stores provide food at affordable prices, they do not offer fresh or organically grown vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs or dairy products. Instead, they sell chips, sodas, canned food and processed foods with high sugar or salt content. Diabetes and heart disease are rampant in the South Bronx.
In 2012 and 2013, I was a part of a program called Americorps. As an Americorps member, i worked for Green City Force, a job training program for young adults living in New York City public housing. At Green City Force, I found both myself and my purpose in life. I fell in love with Urban Agriculture. Together with a few other young adults, I built a farm in Red Hook, Brooklyn. While building that farm, I knew I had to bring my skills and knowledge back home to the Bronx, and my community, Millbrook Houses.
With Millbrook's Community Garden, Von Franklin, my co-founder, and I want to show and teach the residents the importance of growing their own food and, of making healthy food choices. We want to change the way our neighbors think when it comes to food. Right now, we have five raised beds in which we are growing tomatoes, collard greens, peppers and squash, foods that are known to and liked by our community.
With the money raised we will be able to grow more produce in two other sections in the developments. We will be able to build raised beds, buy seeds, build a small green house, buy a storage container for our tools, and possibly be able to build hoop houses for a season extension. Residents of Millbrook Housing development will get the chance to walk right out of their building and be able to pick fresh herbs, and vegetables free of charge if YOU HELP FUND OUR GARDEN!
This project is for the community by the community. Von and I are long-time residents of the Millbrook Houses. We are working closely with Millbrook Houses' tenants association, NYCHA, our friends and our neighbors.