Earth Day is just around the corner. FOX 2 is celebrating with the dedication of our own urban garden. Volunteers planted flowers and fresh vegetables in our back lot Thursday. This year's garden also his special meaning to all of us here at the station.
The soil is tilled and ready to go, and before long a barren plot of land next to the FOX 2 parking lot will be overflowing with fresh vegetables.
Representatives from Urban Farming planted kale, lettuce and other cold crops. They'll be back to plant tomatoes, peppers and other veggies later in the season.
"It's a charity and a mission that really touches a lot of people's hearts because the goal is to get rid of hunger in our generation," said Urban Farming founder and recording artist Taja Sevelle.
She said the 20 by 20 plot of land can produce 500 pounds of food. Similar gardens will be planted in vacant lots in Detroit and other communities. Volunteers do the work and the food is free for anyone who needs it.
Urban Farming started in Detroit with just three gardens back in 2005. Now, seven years later, they have more than 58,000 residential and community gardens around the world.
"People are really starting to realize that it's really important to eat meat free foods and eat fresh vegetables," said Rachael Collins from Lightlife.
That's why Lightlife, which makes veggie dogs, is partnering with Urban Farming. People can mail in two proofs of purchase to get an urban gardening starter kit.
Coca-Cola is another major sponsor. They're supplying 55 gallon syrup barrels to collect the rainwater for watering.
"They are the barrels from our manufacturing facilities," said Katelyn Jackson with Coca-Cola.
Aveda is also pitching in. They'll be tending to the FOX 2 garden this year.
This growing space also has special meaning. It's dedicated in memory of our general manager Jeff Murri, who passed away this February.
"All of the food that we harvest and we take over to Forgotten Harvest and to Gleaners, we will have a card that goes along with it, and it will say this food was donated in loving memory of Jeff Murri, so his legacy can live on," Sevelle said.
It's an effort we can all be proud of, and Urban Farming's global growth shows no signs of slowing down.
To learn more about their programs or to get involved, visit www.urbanfarming.org.