Organic is not a foreign word. In Spanish it is nearly identical--organica. No matter what the language, organic food translates to healthy and fresh.
And, with the help of SCLT's food growing workshops and community garden network, in Providence organic also translates to affordable.
Like many Central Americans who now live here in Providence, I grew up in a town far from the capital. There weren't many options other than growing your own food, so I learned to grow my favorite vegetables from an early age.
Then, when I got to be older, I studied at an agricultural school in Honduras where I gained a lot of knowledge of organic farming techniques.
In 2010, a woman from Southside Community Land Trust came to my English-learning classes and told us about a garden in Olneyville that was looking for new gardeners. My sister, Irma, and I jumped at the chance. It was great to finally have a place to plant a lot of what we eat, such as tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans, cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, lettuce and cilantro!
As garden leader at Templot Community Garden, an SCLT Network in Olneyville, I have built a greenhouse and installed an irrigation system. We have turned a place where people used to throw trash into a place that people in the neighborhood call "the farm" because of the corn and sunflowers.
I have also been teaching workshops at our garden. Using environmentally friendly techniques, I like to share what I know with people interested in growing a good garden. People, especially people from Latin America, are always surprised that we do not use chemical fertilizers to produce food.
There are many more Spanish-speaking people who want to grow food, but it is important that they know where and how to plant safely. That is my mission.
From my childhood in Honduras, my parents instilled in me a love for nature and a commitment to protecting the environment.
My goal for next year is to teach even more workshops in Spanish, motivate people in my neighborhood to eat fresh, verduras organica and show them how to do it at home, as well as in a community garden.
The land where Templot Community Garden is located was generously given by the Olneyville Housing Corporation.