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Pop-Up Garden Providing Fresh Fruits, Vegetables For People In Need

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Amid the skyscrapers and sidewalks of Center City is a pop-up garden providing a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables for people in need.

On Friday, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society went beyond farm-to-table and launched a farm for the city right across from City Hall.

pop-up garden
Credit: (CBS3)

"To see the product and be out there and do the work, it's so exciting," said Lafarae Warring, of West Philadelphia, who says she attended agricultural school in the 1970s and enjoys gardening.

To get sustainable food from the source, you usually have to find a farm or grow your own garden.

"You've got roselle and broccoli, collard greens, tomatoes, squash," said Matt Rader, president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

Created with support from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the 4,000-square foot garden at the Thomas Paine Plaza is open through Sept. 29.

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"Our farmer has grown from seeds that have been handed down from generation to generation so a lot of what you see growing here is all heritage plants," said Tavis Dockwiller of Viridian landscape studio, which helped design the garden in conjunction with Thinkgreen.

Among leafy greens and tomato plants, there's also a growing sense of gratitude.

"People having access to fresh fruits and vegetables, there's just no greater gift," Warring said.

It took nine months of planning.

pop-up garden philadelphia
Credit: (CBS3)

Organizers hope by planting this seed, the community will continue to cultivate it and reap the rewards.

The garden is an art installation and not for picking, but 1,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables grown here will go to the Broad Street Ministry, which serves the homeless in Philadelphia.

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But hunger across the city doesn't stop there, says Rader.

"A very large share of Philadelphians, up to a third, are food insecure," said Rader.

The group hopes to attack that problem from the ground up by building community gardens and teaching neighbors to do the same.

"They help neighbors come together, grow food, get active, transform blighted lands into beautiful gardens and improve life in the community," Rader said.

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