Growing in Week 2

Planting and Planning

The garden at Fort View Apartments, after I worked to clean it up. (Same garden pictured in last week’s blog).

This week at Somerset, I finally got to get my hands dirty! After assessing most of the properties in my first week, I started to clean up some of the gardens to prep for gardening programs with the residents. Some gardens are well cared for, while some are underutilized, and I am working to find out why and how I can improve these gardens.

Residents at Urban Village Apartments take part in maintaining a bed of herbs.

I haven’t been alone in my efforts at every property to become engaged in the gardens. Here at Urban Village, there is an excited¬† group of residents who want to keep their garden beautiful and vibrant. They want to continue to plant more herbs, tomatoes, kale, and peppers. This group of residents is exciting to work with because they already a desire to supplement their diet with healthy, homegrown vegetables. If this attitude can be spread to other residents at other properties, to spread a knowledge and aptitude of growing vegetables, I will feel accomplished in my efforts.

The Food Security Map:

Gardening hasn’t been my only focus this week, however. After visiting all the properties in my first week,¬† I began to construct an interactive map that outlines the closest amenities to each property throughout D.C. I included the closest farmers market, grocery store, metro station, while also showing the convenience stores within the vicinity. This has been an interesting and enlightening way to learn about not only the properties, but also the city and area of D.C. and some of the issues its residents face.


Throughout the summer I hope to add more and more content to the map, while consistently improving the resources they have most readily available; their community gardens!


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