Growing Controversy

October 21, 2008 8:29:39 PM PDT
The community garden is used by as many as twenty families.Some understand why a move must be made but others see the city's action as culturally insensitive. Families have been growing crops at the community garden for the past 13 years.

66-year old Nia Xiong spent the day harvesting lemon grass, a staple in the Southeast Asian diet. The food grown at this two-and-a-half acre community garden feeds hundreds of people. Here you'll find everything from sugar cane ... to vegetables ... to peppers and even peanuts.

"We test it to see how high the sugar level in there."

Michael Yang said, "They like to stay where they are because they kind of establish a place already."

Michael Yang is a Fresno County Small Farms Advisor. Lately he's been fielding questions not about crops but the city's desire to move this farm over two miles away to a plot near Fowler and Shields.

"The city's trying to help so if that's going to help more families they might be willing to accept."

But some say such a move would be too complicated.

Bee Lee of Fresno Metro Ministry said, "Alot of the community are elders. They cannot drive and they stated that some of them walk there and they bike there."

Others say the alternative site isn't as fertile. Richard Yanes is the Executive Director of Fresno Metro Ministry. He's critical of the way this plan has played out.

Richard Yanes said, "Up until the last couple of weeks these folks didn't even have notice that they were going to have to leave their garden by the end of November."

"We think the city can be more sensitive to the cultural needs."

Community gardens like this one were established to help many in the Southeast Asian Community literally put down roots and feed their families.

"Take this away and a major, perhaps most significant piece of their life disappears."

Small Farms Advisor Michael Yang says the city is willing to truck in top-soil to improve the land at Fowler and Shields.

He understands the elders' concerns but says the new site might actually be a better place.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

abc30 News Links:
Links to other news sections on our website.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Breaking News Alerts:
Click Here to Sign-Up for Breaking News E-Mail Alerts
Receive Breaking News alerts in your email inbox.


Click Here to Sign-Up for Text Message Alerts
Receive Breaking News alerts right on your cell phone.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Load Comments