Fort Payne nonprofit starts community garden

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FORT PAYNE, Ala.- “We’ve Got Your Back” volunteers spent Thursday afternoon digging in the dirt and planting crops in hopes of feeding others.

“We’ve actually been thinking about this for five years. I think COVID really sort of just spurred us on this year. We figured with people losing their jobs that they’d probably be a little bit more of an increased need for food. So we figured if we could grow some food for the community and they could come get it, or we could deliver it, that’d be great,” said nonprofit board member and pediatrician Peter Strogov.

Strogov breaks down the long list of things to do before they could start planting.

“We had to clear trees, pull all the stumps out, get topsoil delivered, get compost delivered, put the fence up, grade everything,” said Strogov.

Strogov told WHNT News 19 that so far, they have tomatoes, okra, beets, carrots, onions, squash, zucchini, and cucumbers, corn, a variety of peppers, and watermelon and cantaloupe.

He said there are also several raised beds for fresh herbs.

“I wanted to help out because many people need this in the community. It’s really expensive to just buy your fruits and vegetables at the grocery store when you could just get them here,” said volunteer Lennon Ibsen.

16-year-old Ibsen loves cucumbers and is excited to be a part of this project.

The project is meant to engage the community and provide fresh, nutritious food options for anyone in need.

“Our kids are just used to eating fast food and unhealthy foods and this may be an opportunity not for them to learn how to grow their own food, but then they come pick it and take it home and figure out how to cook with it and eat it and enjoy it, said Strogov.

The nonprofit also plans to deliver to the older community members who are not able to leave home and harvest it themselves.

There will be empty plots for others to plant crops they like that may not already be planted.

They expect to do their first harvest in July.

A lot of the materials and equipment have been donated to “We’ve Got Your Back”, but it still is in need of donations and volunteers. Click here to donate or learn more about the nonprofit.

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