Fifth Ward Garden growing by onions and tomatoes

HOUSTON — During the March 14 “Time to Till” event, members of Houston’s All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP) came with shovels, tillers, hoes, rakes, and an assortment of other garden tools. The Fifth Ward Community Garden and Food Co-Op was only an idea of its organizers.

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Visitors and proud supporters of AAPDEP-Houston Garden

The flyer that was used to familiarize and win the community support for the project stated in part, “The community garden is an opportunity to do for ourselves. Once a week, we go to the food banks and stand in line for second class vegetables and food. But with the Fifth Ward Community Garden we will be harvesting and eating our own food in three months.”

Well, we have exceeded our own expectations. It has only been two months and we already harvested from the garden and the community has taken the garden as their own. The neighbor who donated the vacant lot is particularly proud of the accomplishments, and the community people, who have planted rows with the vegetables of their choice, reveal how real self-determination work can uplift the people’s fighting spirit.

The onions and radishes are already being eaten, and the community had to prop up the tomato plants with stakes because they bore so many tomatoes. The beans and peas grow by leaps and bounds, and the squash and cucumbers are tied off from one another.
    
The mustard and collard greens have grown to the point that they must be thinned out this week or we will just have to eat them now. The okra, watermelon and cantaloupe run vines with blossoms and will bear fruit soon, and the corn is well on its way to being edible.

Our main mission now is to organize the food distribution through the food Co-op which the garden is demanding be organized.

AAPDEP main garden coordinator, Joseph Burnett, who works and waters the garden each and every day, along with one community worker or AAPDEP member, has made the garden a community showplace. People drive through just to see the garden and to take pictures and ask questions.
 
Some of AAPDEP Houston members, who are also part of the APSP Congress Committee, will be having flea market and fish sales to raise money to get to the 5th Congress of the Party in Washington, DC from July 10-14 this year. They will come to the Congress to show off what they have done.

To visit the Garden, come by 3707 Brill Street, Houston, Texas 77026. Or call 281-974-2012 or email houstongarden@development.org

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