Fresno home gardeners may get break from water restrictions

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno City Council will consider amending its watering restrictions to help home and community gardeners. The change would apply to vegetable gardens, and fruit trees.

Sarah Sharpe of Fresno Metro Ministries says it would really help the more than two hundred families who use the organizations three community gardens for food.

Sharpe said, "Yes I think it's a good step for our city to support urban food production a lot of people in our community supplement their food budget by growing their own food either in a community garden or at home."

The ordinance, proposed by Council Member Esmerelda Soria would most help those who rely on gardens for healthy food. She told Action News: "I believe access to healthy foods is an issue especially in a community that has a lot of poverty.

The catch is the ordinance would allow daily watering only if the gardens and trees are watered with a drip irrigation system."

Studies show home gardens use about half as much water as a lawn. But they need more frequent watering's, which are not allowed under the current watering restrictions.

"I think this ordinance takes into account that a lot of people are having a hard time keeping their food gardens alive with very limited water times that we have because of the drought," Sharpe said.

The emergency ordinance exempting food gardens from the city's watering restrictions will be heard at Thursday's Fresno City Council meeting. If approved it would take effect immediately.

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