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Black Arts and Culture

Teens’ Food Garden Grows Into Community Resource

By Jasmine Deloatch
Assistant Editor
New Journal and Guide

Community Gardens are a great way to feed the community and make room for everyone to come together and contribute in some way! Teens With a Purpose is an organization that encourages young people to use their voice, creativity, reflectivity and action to transform lives and impact communities.

The organization allows teens to give back to their community by nurturing a community garden, started by the organization. The garden is located nearby the Teens With a Purpose building in Norfolk, Virginia.

The garden is home to fruit, flowers, veggies, herbs, two peach trees, two apple trees, two fig trees and one cherry tree.

“We just planted 13 trees. We have rose bushes. We put in walking paths and they are lined with flowers that we have planted,” said Deirdre A. Love, who is the founder of Teens With A Purpose.

“When we have a big harvest we’’ll go door to door (in the community). It’s a community-led effort. We have the teens and adults who volunteer.

“There are skills involved in the grain industry. They are being taught to harvest their own food. They are role models for the community.

“It’s teen and adult led. It feeds the community for free. When we started, it was 100% volunteer. It kept growing and became a lot of work. It is now a paid internship for teenagers. It is called the Horticultural Internship Program.

“We had four container beds when we started. We now have at least 30. They supply herbs, flowers and vegetables to local restaurants. They have a regular client now that buys whatever they bring in.

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“We guide them so that they can see what they are dreaming of building with food.”

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