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From Abandoned Lot to a Fruitful Garden

Creator:
Published:
December 12, 2023
September 13, 2021
Watch how and why this man created a community garden from an abandoned lot.

Kofi Thomas transformed this abandoned lot into a community garden for his neighborhood. He also teaches his neighbors how to garden so they can pass down this knowledge to the next generation.

Kofi says, “Sharing food is an act of kindness. It's an act of love. You know, you give somebody food, it's saying, ‘I see you. I care about you. I want you to live.”

Video Transcript

Meet Kofi Thomas: urban farmer

Brooklyn, New York

(Kofi works in the garden harvesting herbs, vegetables, and flowers)

Kofi Thomas: When I first came here, from one corner to the other was just littered. It was like a lasagna of trash. It was like over a decade of like trash, then weeds, then trash, then weeds growing through that, weeds trash. You get it. Like that for about a decade.

Kofi transformed this abandoned lot into a community garden.

Our neighborhood does not have a lot of access to organic, fresh, healthy, nutritious food. Instill a sense of confidence and pride in themselves and in their neighborhood, but it also makes them more self-sustainable. I mean, to break it down, we're in essence more in control of our own lives. You need food to live. 

Kofi teaches his neighbors how to garden.

The produce is free to anyone.

So you should have some power over what you need to live. There are so many people in our neighborhood who have the knowledge of how to grow food, how to take care of land, and knowledge that's been passed down for centuries. And so part of me in a very romantic way, it's like, I don't want this knowledge to stop with our generation.

Sharing food is an act of kindness. It's an act of love. You know, you give somebody food, it's saying, "I see you. I care about you. I want you to live." One of the really fun things about the farm is that you don't know what's going to happen. We just put out some good soil, and nature just keeps on surprising us. As you can see, this type of sunflower is one that puts out one enormous head. Look at the size of them. Corn tassels. Mhm. Yeah I love these. 

(lifting up a large sunflower leaf) 

You could just hide under it, get some shade. Ugh. So much fun.

What I found was I needed to do things that made me happy. So I don't get stressed out about whether or not all of the seeds germinated, whether or not we picked a tomato in time. My joy, my attention, is all the people in the community enjoying the space. If they are, then I'm happy.

Creators:
Grotto
Published:
December 12, 2023
September 13, 2021
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