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Group Tries To Remove “Food Deserts” In Baltimore

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Patterson Park
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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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In Baltimore, like many large urban cities, there are what’s called “food deserts,” places far removed from supermarkets and access to fresh food.  Now, as Mike Schuh reports, a group is trying to give kids a closer connection to where some of those fresh foods come from.

If you think of Patterson Park as a wide open space to roam, you’re only partially right. Soon, school kids will be responsible for a garden.

“We have corn, okra, tomatoes, cauliflower,” said garden designer Eunika Norman.

It’s called a people’s garden.

“Plant, seed, watch it grow, harvest and actually eat what they grow,” said Charles Cawley, USDA.

“This will be the foundation for an educational garden for students.  They come here and learn where food comes from,” said Tim Almaguer, Friends of Patterson Park.

Saturday, they started by planting fruit trees around the perimeter.  It’s all part of getting kids connected to the cycle of life.

“But they’re only spending five minutes a day in outdoor, unstructured recreation, we we’ve got to get some balance back and these farm initiatives are a great way to do that,” said Congressman John Sarbanes.

“This offers an opportunity for kids to be re-engaged with their open space.  This is literally an oasis,” Almaguer said.

Next year, when they harvest the foods to come out of this garden, it will be sent over to the schools that sent students to participate.  If there is any left over, it will be sent to shelters in Patterson Park.

While the fruit trees surrounding the gardens were planted Saturday, they expect to lay out the actual dirt beds in February.

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