Updated 06/14/2012 06:33 PM
Eco-Village under construction on South Side
In the absence of a neighborhood grocery store, more Syracuse communities are investing in alternative ways to nourish residents. As YNN's Erin Clarke tells us, the South Side is the newest neighborhood to start work on an urban garden.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- In a few weeks, this site on South State and Raynor Streets will feed the South Side.
"You hear a lot about the food desert and there's no availability of fresh produce, so we're going to have it here locally, and again, it's by the neighborhood for the neighborhood," said Concerned Citizens Action Program Project Coordinator Brian Hodgens.
Unlike other community gardens, the Eco-Village will allow for three to four extra months of growing time because it will include a Hoop House, which is a covered green house.
"It's great to be able to have a sustainable community garden project and certainly where you have such close proximity to a lot of the residents here on the South Side it makes a lot of sense for these folks to be able to grow their own fruits and vegetables," said Hueber-Breuer Principal Andy Breuer.
Raised gardening beds, a farmers market and small park area for leisure will round out the space. It's a project of the Concerned Citizens Action Program, or C-CAP.
Once the garden and the Hoop House are complete, the goal of this project is to continue enriching this community, with more than just food.
"We hope that when we start getting some funds in we'll be able to start hiring and putting back into the community," said Char Jones.
The site will also help educate about nutrition. Through a partnership with Dr. King Elementary School students will learn agricultural skills and get an early start on developing a healthy diet.
"The children are going to experience gardening. I'm personal friends with a lot of the African refugees locally. We're going to do some African recipes and do some cross cultural simulation," said Hodgens.
Best of all, the currency used to pick from the Eco-Village is volunteer time. So while the economy still struggles, South Side residents won't have to in order to get fresh produce.
The land that the Eco-Village is being built on is leased to the Concerned Citizens Action Program by the owner of Jimmy Supersaver directly across the street. The Hoop House is expected to go up later this month.