CRESTVIEW Where do vegetables come from?
Not the grocery store. That's one message that Common Ground Community Garden organizers want to send as they promote an educational and economical alternative to store-bought produce.


CRESTVIEW Where do vegetables come from?



Not the grocery store. That's one message that Common Ground Community Garden organizers want to send as they promote an educational and economical alternative to store-bought produce.



The new program complete with a Main Street garden near the State Road 85 overpass is one way for people to learn where produce really originates, Esther Phelps said.



"It doesn't come from the vegetable aisle at Wal-Mart or from inside a can," she said. "It really comes from your own hand." 



She hopes that those who rely on stores for their meals will learn how to prepare homegrown meals.



"Many people don't know how to ... buy or even cook (fresh vegetables)," she said. "We want to teach (others) how to grow, how to cook them and how to save vegetables for months from now."



Gardening tutorials for beets, broccoli, Brussels sprout, collards and other vegetables are available at www.crestviewcommunitygarden.org.



In addition to helping residents meet their nutritional needs and stay within budget, organizer Dr. Catherine Ward said there are social benefits.



"We are here to foster gardening, friendships and cohesiveness," she said.



Organizers are accepting applications from residents interested in tending to their own plot for $50 a year. The nonprofit will find sponsorships for those who can't afford the amount.  



Once residents become gardening experts, they can even profit from their produce.



Vincent Grund, of Baker, sells his vegetables at several farmers markets. Others, particularly those who could use additional cash flow, could do the same.



"I would like to see the less fortunate people be able to step up and be able to help themselves," he said.  



WANT TO GO?



Common Ground Community Garden meetings are at noon the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at Convergence Coffeehouse, 498 N. Wilson St., Crestview



Email News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown, follow him on Twitter or call 850-682-6524.