Smarts Farm: Inner city asphalt gardening - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Smarts Farm: Inner city asphalt gardening

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - In a vacant lot on the corner of 15th and F surrounded by the hubbub of a burgeoning city, an unlikely garden grows.

In five months, Smarts Farm, a nonprofit with a grand green plan, has dug its young roots deep into the neighborhood.

"This is a terrific place to have a garden and reinstitute community and have people who live in these towers around here come out and garden with the kids from some of the local schools," Susan Madden Lankford said.

This incongruent confluence of asphalt and greenery has come about largely through the efforts and Susan and her daughter Polly Langford Smith.

"This is basically a food desert, it really is. We have a couple of grocery stores around here, but not anywhere where you can grow your own garden," Polly said.

At Smarts Farm, 33 urban gardeners like Jim Black get their own box to grow.

"This is really, really super. There are some very neat people here," Jim said.

"Because we're on asphalt, we have to be a little tricky… they are kind of cooking from below," Polly said.

The most important byproduct of this street corner oasis may be education.

"We really, really love working with the kids. They are just an absolute delight and they love working, getting their hands dirty, learning how to plant some seedlings," Polly said.

Imagine the amazement of watching your first monarch butterfly hatch, and more are on the way. It's just one of the many miracles that are turning a vacant lot into viable green belt, and transforming a neighborhood along the way.

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