Urban Farming in Gary Downtown-Emerson
Urban Farming Comes to Downtown-Emerson: A collaboration of Growing Power, Progressive Community Church, F.A.I.T.H. CDC, the Legacy Foundation, and Gary Downtown-Emerson Spotlight.
Working to serve the needs of people in the Gary Downtown-Emerson area experiencing poverty, blight and a lack of fresh, healthy food choices, the urban farming project is just one small part of the revitalization efforts, but it has a huge impact on quality of life.
F.A.I.T.H. CDC is made up of members of Progressive Community Church, Agape Ministries, and Saint Monica and Saint Luke Catholic Church, as well as other organizations. Curtis Whittaker of Progressive Community Church is the Executive Director. Progressive Community Church purchased an adjoining piece of property that included an abandoned house, which was demolished. That property was used for the urban farming project. The work on the hoop houses began with preparing the ground. Mulch was spread out to prevent weeds and grass from growing, eliminating the need for mowing and weed killer. Then, Will Allen and his team from Growing Power constructed the hoop houses, assisted by Neighborhood Spotlight members and members of the community. Everyone worked to move soil into the hoop houses, prepared the planting beds and planted seeds and vegetable plants.
In the fall the hoop houses, which are now open, will be covered with plastic, allowing us to grow produce all year long. The centralized location is in easy walking distance of many of the Emerson residents. Numerous photographs showing every stage of the project have been posted on our Facebook page, “Gary Downtown-Emerson Spotlight”. Or come check it out at 7th and Carolina in Gary!
-by Phyllis Haberkamp