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City Of Refuge Victory Garden Uplifts South Baltimore Community With Fresh Produce

BALTIMORE, (WJZ) -- Nestled within a city block in the Brooklyn neighborhood of South Baltimore sits an urban farm, hidden from the outside world.

"When I was growing up here, this was a used lot for people to park their cars," said Jennifer the garden manager of what is now known as the City of Refugee Victory Garden.

"When we first got here, you couldn't pass through the alley," said Berg, "the trash trucks couldn't get through because there was no reason to keep it clean."

Now a team of people works to keep it clean, while fresh produce is grown to be sold to local restaurants or given away to people in the community.

"We don't have a grocery store here in Brooklyn." explained Berg, "a lot of these kids and families have never seen anything grow from seed to finish."

It's also providing paying jobs to teenagers in the neighborhood, like 17-year-old Anna Fawley - Grimes, who says a job can be hard to come by for someone her age.

"It's a very good learning experience," said Fawley - Grimes, "it teaches me how to harvest, what to do with multiple plants, how you would prepare it correctly, how you would lay it out."

It's been so beneficial to the community that Win Waste Innovations has made a $50,000 donation to the program, helping the garden triple in size.

"We're employing people and supporting workforce development," said Mary Urban with Win Waste, "but also supporting gardening and sustainability and planting."

It's an investment in the community that Berg has been waiting to see.

"It's a very strong community, a very resilient community," said Berg, "so to grow these things here and to have it be sustainable is everything for us."

There are 100 acres of green space in Brooklyn, they hope this model expands to different parts of the neighborhood.

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