San Jose Journal
SAN JOSE — At dawn, Maria Lupercio Alarcon wakens to the heady scent of onions and cilantro from her family’s first garden, outside her bedroom window.
The two-month-old vegetable garden, from which Mrs. Alarcon picks extravagant bursts of broccoli for breakfast with scrambled eggs, is both comforting and unfamiliar. It is one of 30 backyard vegetable gardens recently planted by a nonprofit group here called La Mesa Verde, or The Green Table, which makes house calls to help residents of the city’s low-income, predominantly Latino neighborhoods grow their own organic produce.
“People don’t eat vegetables unless they are close by, to be honest with you,” Mrs. Alarcon, a mother of three who grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico, said of the human tendency to eat whatever is at hand, especially if it is cheap. “If you have vegetables,” she said, pointing to luxuriant tangles of peas and other delights, “then you can come get them. To see them growing is a blessing.”
The fledgling effort to bring backyard vegetable beds to San Jose neighborhoods like the Washington-Guadalupe and Gardner districts — historic portals for immigrants — is part of a national movement, from West Oakland to Little Rock, Ark., to make healthy food readily accessible to marginalized urban neighborhoods...link to complete article