Ashbury Sprouts participated in GardenWalk Cleveland, where community gardens and urban farms open up to the public for free, self-guided tours in several Cleveland neighborhoods. interviewed Ashbury Sprouts founder Sandra Robertson for their story:

“At Glenville’s Ashbury Sprouts Community Garden, R&B music from a portable radio provided background beats as volunteers tended their raised garden beds. Organizer Sandra Robertson, a retired Cleveland police officer, explained that about 10 adults and 13 kids are growing corn, collard greens, spinach, peppers, cabbage, strawberries, raspberries and carrots. She showed me her crop of Yukon Gold potatoes growing in a trash barrel. As the plants grow, she adds more soil. When it’s harvest time, she’ll tip the barrel over and pull out the potatoes. “It’s a hobby I love. I like showing kids how much fun it is,” Robertson said. She described a teen who was awe-struck when he yanked a carrot out of the ground; he’d never seen that before. The teenagers are part of the Fresh Camp, a Glenville summer camp that uses gardening and hip-hop music to encourage kids to explore their neighborhoods, explained co-organizer Lynea Mitchell. Last year, Fresh Campers just visited the community garden; this year, the garden donated nine raised beds for the campers to plant, Mitchell said. The teens learn where fresh food comes from, along with responsibility and patience. “You can’t plant a pepper and eat it the next day,” said Mitchell, who runs the camp with Cleveland artist Doc “DJ Doc” Harrill. Jamaal Thomas, 17, one of the Fresh Campers, stopped by the garden to talk to visitors during the walk. “It’s not hard to garden and make our own food,” said Jamaal, who will be a junior at Glenville High School in the fall. He thinks that his raspberries will taste better because he grew them. “I never planted berries before,” he said.”

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