A community garden project in Meridian is providing more than just food. The Love and Peas Garden was established 9 months ago. It's located behind Cater's Market in North Meridian, and according to organizers, it will hopefully serve as the inspiration for other similar gardens throughout the city.
"Growing food is growing money," says Go Green Meridian President, Craig Wilkes. "We really tried to bring people together to teach them how to grow food organically, responsibly, and sustainably."
Already organizers say the garden is fulfilling its purpose by serving the community in many ways.
"The MCC Culinary Program has a little herb section of the garden where they harvest basil, and harvest parsley and stuff like that, and students actually came out and planted that," says Gail Barton, who serves as the director for the garden. She says so far a number of groups of children have toured it.
"Probably the most popular thing we've done with kids is that we grew carrots this winter, and kids love to pull carrots I've learned."
As posted on the front gate, anyone can go to the garden and look around, but it's only the volunteers who can harvest from it. One of the ultimate goals is to plant at least one of these gardens in each ward within the city.
With a focus on community development, Go Green officials say establishing these gardens throughout Meridian will help residents in many ways.
"Financially, if you've been to the grocery store you know that groceries are expensive," says Wilkes. "You can come and grow your own food; it's free. You harvest it. You take it home, and you cook it. The most important thing is that you know where it came from. There are no chemicals and no pesticides. There are no GMO's in this garden. Everything is an heirloom seed. It's just a really wonderful, wonderful place to come to bring your family, friends and your children."
For more information on the Love and Peas Garden Project look up Love and Peas Garden on Facebook. Volunteers work in the community garden two days each week. On Wednesdays they work from 5 until 6 PM, and from 7:30 until 9:30 on Saturday mornings. For more information on the effort look up the Love and Peas Garden Project or Go Green Meridian on Facebook. You can also call (917) 664-7255.