COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The point of the Mid-Ohio Farm at NBC4 is to address the needs of others. One of the targets of the farm will be the nearly 2,500 people who live in the neighborhood.
Generally, the people who live on Riverview Drive are new Americans from all over the world and Ohio State University students. Typically, they have to deal with transportation barriers. The nearest grocery store is about a mile away.
Imagine carrying all of your weekly groceries that distance. Plus, we’ve all gone home and realized we forgot to grab a couple of items. This distance between the residents on Riverview Drive and a grocer can be overwhelming at times.
“It can be a bit of a far walk for a lot of neighbors that live here,’ said Emily Miller with the Riverview International Center. “This community garden could really benefit from the food insecurity in this neighborhood.”
Some of the people have been creative in growing vegetables they enjoyed from their homeland.
“A lot of our neighbors are trying to grow vegetables in Home Depot buckets on our fence line,” said NBC4 General Manager and Vice President Ken Freedman.
From using buckets to rearranging parking lots, the need for fresh produce is strong in the area. People are using what limited green space that is available to grow food — pots on their patio, cultivating next to the apartment buildings — whatever the landlord allows.
“This is a parking lot. They moved the concrete over and made a triangular part, added dirt, made a barrier showing ‘this is ours,’ and started planting here,” said Riverview International Center Interim Director Diane Linton. “These neighbors over here have used the whole front side and back of any green space they have to make gardens.”
Imagine that you’ve moved to another country and have no plans to return home anytime soon. Would you miss your mom’s meatloaf or the local pizza you ordered every weekend? The answer is probably yes. The food they are growing reminds them of home.
“These times mean we have something from our country which means a lot,” said Asana Ferdousin, who is from Bangladesh.
She lived there when she first became a citizen and has since moved to her own house and grows a garden there also.
“When we have the time, we can grow our own type of vegetables. That would be very nice for us to get some fresh country-like vegetables,” Ferguson said.
A section of the Mid-Ohio Farm at NBC4 will have a community garden. The area will provide a place that is controlled and set up specifically for them, not cars and foot traffic. There, residents can grow the produce they choose, whether it’s local or from their home country.