(SOUTH SIOUX CITY, NE) The Siouxland Community Garden in South Sioux City, Nebraska, is thriving! For the second season in a row, the Center for Rural Affairs project is offering plots for local gardeners to farm, bringing together people of all cultures and languages.
"There were people who were interested in forming a garden, especially a senior citizen group of Hispanics and so we got together as a project to help them do gardening," says Cristina Perez, Center for Rural Affairs.
That was nearly two years ago and now the Siouxland Community Garden is in full bloom, with dozens of gardeners farming their own produce.
"I got 8 different tomatoes and 3 different jalapenos. That is 2nd year but that's better for my family," says Arturo Hernandez, community gardener.
The smaller of the two spaces is tucked in behind the South Sioux City Public Library.
"We have about 25 gardeners and there are two locations, here and on 32nd Street," says Perez.
The 2nd half of the community here is about 10 blocks down Dakota Avenue behind the old school. 2/3 of the gardeners farm this land with space available for more people to join.
"Whatever you like. The product, tomatoes. Everyday, everything you got it here," says Hernandez.
Arturo Hernandez just started farming last year. He says growing his own produce is cheaper than shopping in the stores. He spends four days a week at the garden.
"It's easy work. Easy. It's happy work," says Hernandez.
"They enjoy producing some of their own products and food for the home and it's relaxing for them and they enjoy learning new techniques and they give us ideas also how to better the project," says Perez.
The Center for Rural Affairs hosts workshops nearly every week to teach gardening tricks and tips. And everything is offered in both English and Spanish, since a majority of the farmers are Hispanic.
"The language is a big factor and we can understand each other better and connect and I can be able to help them with whatever their problems may be," says Perez.
"People is happy because maybe you got more group, more person, more better for everybody, for the community," says Hernandez.
If you're interested in purchasing a plot, they cost $10, $15 or $20 annually, depending on the size. That money helps pay for water and hand tools.
You can learn more about purchasing a plot in the Siouxland Community Garden from the Center for Rural Affairs online at www.cfra.org.
Reported by Erika Thomas. You can contact her at email@example.com to nominate someone who's Proud to be a Hometown Farmer. The Iowa Broadcast News Association awarded this series 1st place Farm & Agribusiness in 2010.
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