Nutrition For The Soul: McPherson Community Garden Brings Fresh Food and Unity

23 Nov

A community garden may just seem like a way to make an area look nice, but the impacts actually go deeper than you’d think.

Imagine stepping out of your back door and being greeted by an lineup of thriving vegetable gardens. A place where you can gather free, organic ingredients for your next meal, all while being surrounded by your neighbors who are doing the same thing. Fresh tomatoes, carrots, peppers, kale, and anything else you can imagine. All free, organic, and grown by you. This lifestyle is a reality for many neighborhoods all over the country thanks to community gardens.

Andy Cross, a self proclaimed outdoorsman, leads the McPherson Community garden. It’s one of two thriving community gardens in the Skinker DeBaliviere neighborhood, and has over 60 raised beds run by members of the surrounding community.

Originally, Andy and his neighbors wanted to start a community garden for beautification of the area, mostly dedicated to flowers. Upon getting started, Andy realized there was something more that could be done.

“I wasn’t so aware of it then as I am now”

There is an increasing issue with access to healthy food in many communities throughout St. Louis and the United States as a whole. Most affordable food that comes to mind is generally unhealthy (fast food, etc.) and certain communities are having less and less access to resources that aid in building wholesome diets.

Andy and his neighbors became increasingly aware of this issue as time progressed. “I wasn’t so aware of it then as I am now.” Andy says, referencing the issues with access to healthy food. This is common, since many people are unaware of these issues unless they’ve dealt with them personally.

There has also been a serious issue with numerous grocery stores closing down, as they cannot keep up with their online competitors. Again, this directly impacts underserved communities. While not a perfect solution, community gardens are a helpful start to aiding in this issue.

According to Austin Huguelet of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, many chain stores lose interest in their locations that are in poorer neighborhoods, leading to their closure.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: