Urban food gardens fuel central Ohio neighborhoods


Rebecca Brown is able to feed her family healthful food without leaving her neighborhood.

Ripe raspberries, zucchini, kale, carrots and the peaches her daughter Dot tested are like a gold mine of goodness.

The fruits and vegetables come from Franklinton Gardens, a community supported agriculture program.

The Brown family signed up for the summer and uses the government subsidized Women, Infants, Children (WIC) program to help defray the costs.

Since Franklinton has long been considered a food desert, a place with very little access to fresh produce, one advantage of an urban garden right in the middle of the city means farm to table is not only delicious but fast, picked in the morning and delivered to her doorstep in the afternoon.

Franklinton Gardens Director Nick Stanich says the mission is simple: "Make sure that individuals who need access to affordable, fresh, healthy produce have it."

Fresh from their local garden not only means nutritious to the Brown's.

"It's been really meaningful to me to be able to eat food that was grown in my community," Rebecca said.

Franklinton Gardens also provides produce to Columbus Public Health's Farmers Market, also a popular stop for those registered in the WIC program.

Barb Seckler, with Columbus Public Health, says the organization has supported the community for fourteen years with its three signature summer markets, saying "All these moms are so excited to be somewhere in the community where they can pick what they want."

What we all want is to set a healthy example for our children. The Brown's call it power food. A powerful message indeed.