With the holiday season about a month away, local farmers are turning an empty lot into a crop field for a charitable cause.
Florida Organic Growers is teaming up with the Porter Community Center and student interns from the University of Florida to plant food in the newly converted field. All of the food will be donated to the St. Francis House homeless shelter and soup kitchen in Gainesville.
Travis Mitchell, a member of Florida Organic Growers, said the initiative will give those in need food that shelter programs don’t have readily available.
“You always hear of shelf-stable items — canned food and frozen things — which is great,” he said, “but I think it’s also really important for those who are most in need to have a supply of vegetables, as well.”
Florida Organic Growers is now installing the irrigation system to till the cover crop and build up nutrients. The next step is to plant fall crops like broccoli, carrots and onions.
Kelsey Meany and George Pappas edited this story online.