It’s no secret that the food we eat is connected with the condition of our bodies. Restaurants and grocery stores offer healthy options for this very reason. But is there something to be said for growing our own food?
Vegas Roots community garden manager Betty Moore and the volunteers who work there say yes. For them, the crucial question is not so much what we eat, but how this food comes to be and where it comes from. Growing your own food not only yields delicious, nutritious produce to supplement meals, but it also precipitates appreciation for the labor and resources necessary to grow the ingredients that go into pretty much everything we eat.
Vegas Roots, Las Vegas’ first and only urban farm, aims to get low-income families, at-risk youth and other volunteers involved with growing food from seed to harvest. It provides Adopt-A-Plot, Lil’ Roots Garden Club and End of Heart Disease and Diabetes Eight-Week Program to meet this goal. People of all ages, including myself, come to the garden to improve their health in one form or another.
“I enjoy volunteering in the garden because it’s peaceful,” says James, a regular contributor. “It’s kind of crazy. It’s all chaos out there, but when you hit the corner, there’s a real garden over here.” For me, helping with farming slows down my daily grind and gives me an appreciation for my health and the earth. There is something to be said for the value added when you work with nature to help a seed grow from start to finish.
After spending New Year’s Eve morning weeding, building and cleaning up the garden, the volunteers sat around a bonfire to roast marshmallows, reflect on the past year and look forward to the one ahead. With winter on its way out, the gardeners already are planting seeds for spring that will hang out in the greenhouse until the weather is warm enough for them to survive on the ground. Volunteers and visitors look forward to reaping the rewards.
Vegas Roots community garden’s You-Pick program starts back up on February 4. To get involved, visit Vegas Roots community garden, 715 N. Tonopah Drive, vegasroots.org.