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Community Gardens

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Flagler Village Community Garden in Downtown Fort Lauderdale Flagler Village Community Garden in Downtown Fort Lauderdale

Nestled among the tall buildings of Downtown Fort Lauderdale is a plot of land where the focus is on growing.

Chad Scott, President, Flagler Community Garden: "So people are growing for themselves in a 4-by-4 plot, so they'll take it home to their family, they can share with their neighbor, or they can donate it."

Chad Scott and his neighbors started the Flagler Community Garden last month. It's a growing trend to bring home grown to the big city.

Chad Scott: "So instead of going and shopping at local grocery stores, on top of being connected to the food that you're growing, you actually can save money in the long run, because it's just a seed. You're getting enjoyment out of it."

Community gardens allow people who don't have their own land to grow their own vegetables.

David Laws, Manager, FIU Community Garden: "By growing your own produce organically, you end up saving a lot of money. Organic produce can be more expensive. But also, you're adding a lot of different variety."

You have to buy your own plants and seeds, and put in the work to maintain your garden, but most sites take care of watering your plants for you.

Dr. Mahadev Bhat, Co-Director, FIU Agro-Ecology Department: "Healthy food is expensive food. Yep. The garden benefits the community, because those who participate in the community garden here will get to take produce home. We do not charge them anything."

Most private community gardens charge anywhere from $30 to $200 to have a plot. At FIU, they have a grant from the USDA which allows students to work their plots for free.

Whether you pay or not, most community gardeners say it's more than just about the money.

Adis Alvarez, President, FIU Community Garden: "The more local you can get your produce, the cheaper and the better it's going to be for you. We have carrots and stuff growing all the time. I love to make carrot curry soup; it's probably my favorite."

You have to put in the work to maintain your garden, but it's a fraction of the cost of having a private garden, and it will help you save on your grocery bill.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

South Florida Community Gardens

http://localfoodsouthflorida.org/commgardens.html

Flagler Village Community Garden

http://flaglergarden.org/

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