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MENTION: Syracuse gardens offer residents sense of community during pandemic

“For residents in food deserts, community gardens can offer inexpensive access to high-quality produce.

“If you can save $20 on your food costs, that can be significant for some families who are in a lower income bracket,” said Frank Cetera, who operates the Edible Forest Snack Garden on South Salina Street.

Cetera saw increased interest in community gardening after the pandemic began. Many people, such as Lane, were simply looking for an outlet and a reason to leave the house.

The Salina Street garden, which allows any Syracuse resident to pick food from the plants growing there, is open 24/7, Cetera said.

“Good food, organically-grown food, is not cheap,” Cetera said. “You can spend a couple dollars just on a small container of raspberries, but we have many berries available for picking at our gardens so every little bit helps.”

Cetera is also the president of the Alchemistry Nursery Project, which promotes urban agriculture in Syracuse. Through conferencing sessions, he and other members of the project have offered advice on gardening and answered questions about how people can start gardens at home, he said.

“Some people who are more susceptible to coronavirus may not want to come into a garden space even if it is outdoors because there are a lot of people in that space,” Cetera said. “So we help them in their own homes by sending (raised beds) out and giving them seeds and so forth.””

Read the full story at http://dailyorange.com/2020/09/syracuse-gardens-offer-residents-sense-community-pandemic/