Residents in Ft. Deposit and Mosses are now tending a new source of fresh, healthy foods grown in their own neighborhoods.
Recently, Urban Regional Extension Agent Roosevelt Robinson taught residents about planting and caring for a bounty of vegetables and fruit planted in raised bed gardens. Robinson also designed and helped install the raised beds in each residential area. This is a continuation of an effort started in Lowndes County about two years ago.
The Alabama Cooperative Extension System, in partnership with the South Central Alabama Regional Housing Authority, is working with residents in maintaining raised bed community gardens from which community members may harvest fruit and vegetables year round. The gardens are open to the residents of the Mosses Public Housing Area and Ft. Deposit Public Housing Area and are cared for at no cost to them.
Housing Manager, Joy Kelly is proud of the effort, “I think that this is great for the tenants because there is a need for them to get fresh vegetables from a close location. Usually our community members must travel at least 10 to 15 miles to buy fresh produce.”
Recently residents planted collard greens, cabbages, tomatoes, bell peppers, okra, eggplants, and cantaloupe in raised beds at both the Mosses and Ft. Deposit public housing areas.
Creating and maintaining these community gardens is part of the ALProHealth initiative through which the Alabama Cooperative Extension System strives to engage Alabamians in long-term, healthy nutritional practices.
The goal of AlProHealth is to implement evidence or practice-based strategies in promoting healthy lifestyles in Alabama counties with adult obesity rates of greater than 40 percent (The identified counties are: Barbour, Bibb, Bullock, Chambers, Coosa, Crenshaw, Cullman, Escambia, Greene, Lowndes, Macon, Pickens, Sumter and Wilcox).
For more information about these community gardens in Mosses and Ft. Deposit, please contact the Lowndes County Extension Office at 334.548.2315.