El Monitor reports:
A Rio Grande Valley organization is working to promote a nutritious diet in colonias, one garden at a time.
The Coalition for Valley Families presented its pilot Garden of Hope on Tuesday morning at the Alton Recreation Center, 349 W. Dawes St. Volunteers planted the garden in February.
The garden has tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro, onion and rosemary.
Although small, with two approximately 3-foot-by-3-foot plots, organizers have big plans for gardens in the future.
The plan is to teach colonia residents how to grow their own vegetables, said Dagoberto Garza, a board member of the Coalition.
Four other gardens will be planted around the Valley, but the Coalition has not decided where, said Roger Marcelino, the president of the Coalition’s board.
The Coalition also will help residents get discounted or free supplies, such as soil and seeds, for their gardens, Garza said.
Zenayda Delgadillo, an Alton colonia resident who volunteered at the community center garden, said she will garden at home.
The small garden at the community center showed that gardening is possible even in a small space, such as a patio or an apartment, she said.
Delgadillo said she looks forward to teaching her two children, who normally will not eat vegetables, how to garden during their summer break.
“If they themselves see how a vegetable grows, they will eat it,” she said in Spanish.
Coalition members hope the gardens will promote healthful eating in areas with residents who can’t always afford to choose the nutritious option.
The Garden of Hope project is run by the Health Task Force of the Coalition. The Coalition also has Youth, Family Asset Building, Literacy and Community Resource Coordination Groups task forces.