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Hotchkiss community garden seeking volunteers

RICHMOND, Va. -- Tamara Elmore cherishes the Northside neighborhood she grew up in; she loves her neighbors and spending time in her backyard garden.

Growing fresh fruits and veggies started as a hobby, but her passion for it comes in handy these days because there's not a grocery store nearby.

“At the time I was frustrated with the lack of food access in the neighborhood,” Elmore said, “made me decide maybe i should try to grow something other than flowers.”

While she appreciates having the skill set, she knows not everyone is blessed with the means to get to a grocery store.

“Closest grocery store is the Food Lion on Mechanicsville or the Kroger on Lombardy,” she said.

Community garden at Hotchkiss park.

She said that because the area is a food desert, she and two other neighbors pour their hearts into the Hotchkiss Community Garden. The garden, located off Brookland Park Boulevard, was started six years ago by Shalom Farms and the ladies have taken the lead.

Occasionally volunteers pitch in, but more hands are desperately needed. The garden is flourishing and so is the workload.

“The work involves some planting, maintenance and typically light weeding and watering is the male thing,” Elmore said.

They asked the Problem Solvers to highlight the benefits of the garden, and appeal to volunteers.

“It feels awesome to grow something with our own hands, pass it on to someone else…it’s amazing when it's for someone else,” she said.

She and her neighbors will keep digging in to make this garden something the entire community can enjoy.

If you want to help, you can reach out at 804-803-3992.