Fresno Unveiled Its First Community Garden

Fresno, CA Preparing these 10-by-20 plots of land will take much more effort. But in just a few months fresh produce will be harvested here. Families in Southeast Fresno will immediately benefit from this community garden.

Mayor Ashley Swearengin said, "Particularly in these tough economic times. This is really a celebration of sustainability for Fresno."

90 plots will be made available to families on a first-come, first-serve basis next Thursday at five-thirty. It costs two-dollars to register and three-dollars a month for access. The water is free.

Edie Jessup said, "The on-going production of food is what's really needed and this is something they can do for themselves."

Fresno Metro Ministry will manage the site, located at Al Radka Park. Radka was a popular radio and TV pitchman who hosted many shows on Channel 30.

Fresno City Councilman Mike Dages said, "Everyone considered him Mr. Fresno. I think he would be really really proud to know the first community garden is at Al Radka Park."

A second community garden will be established at Peach and California. Hmong farmers raising crops in their own community garden at Dewitt and Belmont were told they had to move because the city wanted to build a police sub-station there.

The families have agreed to move to the Peach and California site in the fall. It has bigger plots than those found at Al Radka Park.

Parks and Recreation Dir. Randall Cooper said, "They're finishing up with their cycle of growth. We've already talked to them. They're very excited about moving to the new location. Again, they've been … paying thousands of dollars for their water. Now they'll have free water from the city."

Mayor Swearengin says the community gardens fit perfectly with Fresno's push to become one of the "greenest" cities in the U.S.

Sign-ups for the community garden at Al Radka Park begin next Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Those who live in the immediate area will be given priority.

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