Beyond cows: community gardens in Omaha

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When Ludo and Krissy hit Omaha tonight, they’ll be focused on soul food, rather than the beef for which the city is so famous. That means lots of vegetables… and while I don’t know for certain where Patricia “Big Mama” Barron gets her produce, it turns out she has lots of small-scale, local options available to her.

That’s right – the city famous for its history of raising cattle has become a hotbed of community food gardening.

For instance, Omaha Spouts is just over a mile away from Big Mama’s. Founded in 1995, this community garden has worked with inner city residents “to sustain communities through gardening,” and to “help Omaha neighborhoods, civic groups, schools, youth groups, and residents develop lasting, productive green spaces.” Just a bit farther away is the Gifford Park Teen Market Garden, which trains young people in both the cultivation and business of fresh food. And the Inspiration Garden at the Omaha Home for Boys is tended by the disadvantaged youth that live there.

While most community gardens (everywhere) share produce amongst members, I can’t think of a better way for a local restaurant to show its support for the community, as well as offer really fresh food to its customers, than by partnering with such efforts (and there are many more in Omaha). Ludo’s going to focus on making Big Mama’s menu more eclectic, but perhaps he could also point out the ample sources of homegrown produce right in the restaurant’s back yard.


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Image: Omaha’s Gifford Park Community Garden Credit: vinzcha at Flickr under a Creative Commons license