Excitement building for return of community garden at Harmon Park

Posted at 5:18 PM, Mar 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-30 21:33:18-04

Job and his wife Grace have big plans for the revival of a community garden at Harmon Park. Everything they want to grow has already been mapped out--literally.

They're excited about the community garden opening again near 5th Avenue and Pima Street in Phoenix. It's right at their front door. The couple says this community needs it.

"There's people that don't have any income," said Job. "Whatever you grow you can eat."

It's the reality a lot of families are facing in Central City South, a community tucked between I-17 and downtown Phoenix. About 60 percent of the homes here are public housing. The area is considered a food desert, a term used to describe locations which do not have easy access to fresh produce and other healthy options.

"A lot of times a kid's choice for food is the local corner store," said Francisco Avalos with United Way, the non-profit that's been working to re-open the garden.

The closest grocery store for these families is at least a mile away. Public transportation options are limited.

"Somebody who doesn't have a car and doesn't have a grocery store with a mile from here is really limited to what they can carry in their hands," said Avalos. So now those in the neighborhood won't have to walk far at all to get fresh vegetables. The garden will be re-dedicated Saturday, on Cesar Chavez Day.

The civil rights and labor movement activist was the founder and president of the United Farm Workers of America. His grandson says these types of community gardens are exactly what his grandfather envisioned.

"Ironically this is the forward thinking that he had at the time," said Alejandro Chavez. "In 1993 this is where he saw it was going to go."