Looking for an innovative youth-driven, leadership development program that supports positive well-being? Then look no further than Durham, North Carolina, which is home to SEEDS, an innovative approach to respecting the earth, capitalizing on abandoned land and teaching invaluable life skills to community members young and old. The SEEDS Garden, located northeast of downtown Durham, represents the potential in abandoned land. This beautiful oasis consists of two separate parcels. The first includes community garden plots tended by the local neighborhood and people from all over Durham, a cut-flower garden cultivated by Durham Inner-city Gardeners (DIG) youth for the Durham Farmer's Market, composting facilities, a medicinal herb garden, a permaculture pond, an outdoor classroom, an 8-panel mural on a neighboring abandoned warehouse wall, and an outdoor art gallery. The second parcel is right across the street and is used by DIG to grow organic vegetables to sell at the Farmers' Market.
DIG empowers teens by teaching organic gardening, sound business practices, healthy food choices and food security values. The program emphasizes sustainable living and growing practices, ecological balance, and the natural recycling of organic materials for plant health and nourishment. DIG youth are paid a stipend to cultivate fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and mushrooms, which they sell at the Durham Farmer's Market and make available to the Durham community.
Interested in trying something like this in your community? For more information contact DIG Coordinator, Santos Flores, and be sure to watch the video below.