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CBS2's #BetterTogether Project Green initiative works with Harlem Grown to clean up NYC

CBS2's #BetterTogether Project Green works with Harlem Grown to clean up NYC
CBS2's #BetterTogether Project Green works with Harlem Grown to clean up NYC 02:06

NEW YORK -- It was a gorgeous day to clean up and green up in the Big Apple.

That's exactly what some members of the CBS2 News Team did Saturday morning.

Vanessa Murdock has more on Harlem Grown and our #BetterTogether: Project Green Initiative.

Familiar faces were hard at work helping to prepare an oasis in the middle of Harlem for winter. CBS2's initiative not only highlights local organizations positively impacting our environment, but staffers get their hands dirty with them.

"Our friends here still need growth before freeze," Dana Tyler said.

READ MORECBS2's #BetterTogether Project Green joins Harlem Grown to help winterize their crops

Harlem Grown's main farm at West 134th Street in Harlem serves as a respite for the neighborhood, a place to grab fresh produce for free, and an education hub for Harlem youth, teaching them about healthy eating and living an energetic life. Murdock spoke with 9-year-old Jasmine in her favorite space, the free library, tending to the fruits and veggies, one of the many things she accomplishes at the farm.

"I also teach people how to make food with them and like how to take care of them," Jasmine said.

Harlem Grown has served Harlem since 2011, taking vacant lots and transforming them. The founder and CEO, Tony Hillery, shared what he experienced when he walked into a Harlem school over 10 years ago.

"I went into a school that had no art, no music, no gym at the time. They had 400 students at the time. They all qualified for free breakfast, lunch and supper at school," Hillery said. "Over the last decade, we've grown from me and a handful of kids to thousands, 7,000 volunteers, 5,000 children."

And, the number of sites blossomed, too, from one to 13.

When asked how many different types of fruits and veggies are grown in the 13 spaces, Central Farms coordinator Adah Hill said, "We grow a ton. We'll be here for a minute before I give you all of them."

Hill said a lot of fruit trees and crops that are favored by the community were up for grabs Saturday -- beets, Tuscan kale, Swiss chard and peppers.

To date, the community has benefited from more than 70,000 servings of fresh fruits and veggies and Harlem Grown has delivered nearly 700 lessons to students.

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