It is no secret that the United States has a serious food desert problem. Recent studies show that an estimated 23.5 million people living within the United States currently live in a food desert. A food desert occurs when residents have a very limited access to healthy food options because of the distance between their homes and the grocery stores. Often times a grocery store can be found about 10 miles or more away from the homes.
Between the lack of healthy food options and the dismal living conditions throughout some cities, the concept of guerrilla gardening was born. While this concept is not a new one, it has become more modernized to fit today’s society. Guerrilla gardening can date as far back as the 1800s with the more modern resurgence occurring in New York City in the 1970s. Guerrilla gardening is when a group of gardeners cultivate a public piece of land. The catch with this trend is that the land used by these gardeners is technically not theirs to garden; the land is typically within a public area that no one has seemed to maintain. While some states have banned guerrilla gardening, other states have embraced the new trend and understand the benefits it can bring. Gardeners typically choose to plant different fruits and vegetables in certain areas because of the lack of food within the immediate area.
MBK encourages the establishment of more community urban gardens and prepares fresh foods for their guests. MBK has conducted gardening/cooking demonstrations and workshops for residents during community events. Three raised vegetable planting areas have been established at the J.P. Blase Cooke Center creating My Brother’s Keeper’s Garden that support onsite gardening. This year students from the McDonogh School in Owings Mills are volunteering to prepare the planting beds and help with the seeding of the gardens. It is the vision of MBK to continue working with other community organizations to establish more urban gardens in the future.
My Brother’s Keeper understands the struggles of the residents of Baltimore as they are faced with a food desert. While we do not participate in guerrilla gardening, we do offer food programs to help the 21229 community. We can also help residents who are interested in starting their own garden as well.
My Brother’s Keeper is as strong as our support. Our programs are based on community need as well as the donations and volunteer services available. As our staff continues to work towards helping the community, outside help by way of donations and volunteers are always welcome! Become a part of something great and help make MBK where hope finds a home.
To learn more about how to help, or to find out more about our services, call MBK today at 410-644-3194.