DeKalb wants gardens on vacant lots

Four DeKalb County vacant lots could soon be filled with fruits and vegetables for hungry residents.

The county commission is now looking for vacant land to build community gardens.

Urban Farming, a Detroit-based non-profit organization, told DeKalb commissioners on Tuesday that it has grants to plant four gardens in the Atlanta area. They are trying to get all four in DeKalb, said Taja Sevelle, Urban Farming’s executive director.

Other than supplying the land, there will be no cost to the county, Sevelle said. The group plans to ask churches, senior centers and scout troops to work two hours a month in the garden.

All plants will then be available free to residents.

“People suffering from starvation can just come and get the food 24 hours a day,” Sevelle said. “With that mentality, people protect the garden.”

Urban Farming operates gardens in Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and several other cities. None of the gardens have ever had problems with people taking more food than they need, Sevelle said.

The commission needs to identify the land before moving forward.

In addition to the gardens, Commissioner Larry Johnson said he also wants to plant fruit trees in road medians instead of bushes.