Right next to Teglia's Paradise Park Community Garden, activists and volunteers started Spring 2016 by laying out new plots to grow organic food which will go toward feeding the less fortunate in the Reno/Sparks community. Unlike the community garden, this area, which Jay Dee Skinner calls a future "food forest", will not be fenced in, and will not require a key or scheduled time to get in. Challenges include squirrels and the pesticide used by city workers in other parts of the park.
A Collective Making Healthy Food for Those Most in Need
"We do this as a collective, a group of people in the community and a group of friends." Skinner said. "We grow the food we're growing organically not for ourselves but we give it back to the people, to local bread lines, where the food is not always very healthy, like cupcakes. We do it at a grassroots level. We have zero support except the unity in our collective. We do it with people power and it all started because we would do potlucks at the shelters and we would always do big stews that were all organic and it cost 50 to 75 dollars. It's not a problem for us to do that, it's just we're not wealthy ourselves. A lot of the time we spend here isn't just benefiting us because it feels good, but it actually helps feed your community by sharing organic plant-based produce with the people who are most in need of a healthy meal."
New Volunteers Welcome
"Everyone is welcome," Skinner said. "Everyone is extremely open to teaching the next person. If you don't know the slightest thing about gardening come out here and by the end of the day you will be planting food successfully."
"We're just trying to help with the community, and make the world a better place and start where we live by planting food," Jones said. "We're going to use this to help with the food we make to feed the homeless every Monday. We use all vegan, all organic food, usually soups, pastas. We try to make food that's healthy and fulfilling at the same time."
"It shows people we can grow stuff," said anti-pesticide activist and volunteer Ross Tisevich. "Anybody can grow stuff, no matter who you are. It's the way we've been growing food since the beginning of time."