There is a significant need for fresh, healthy food across Baltimore. 20% of Baltimore City residents live in a food desert, defined as an area with low availability of healthy food, lack of access to transportation, and a significant distance from a supermarket. The Cherry Hill neighborhood is located in a food desert, and one long-time neighborhood resident was tired of seeing her community suffer from the health consequences of low healthy food access.
Inspired to find a solution, 73-year old Juanita Ewell decided to start a garden. Her driving goal has always been, as she says, “to save the community.” In 2010, she secured a 1.5 acre site on unused City property to provide fresh produce to neighborhood residents and to teach the community to “Eat Health Live Healthy.” By converting an abandoned lot into growing space, she has taken a huge step toward transforming Cherry Hill’s food environment.
A committed team of volunteer farm managers have contributed to the garden over the years by sharing their experience growing organic food. The growing space has expanded from four raised beds to 18 raised beds, 14 10-food rows, 1 high tunnel, 4 mobility boxes, and a sensory herb garden.
Today, the Cherry Hill Urban Garden is managed by Juanita, Pamela Hargest, and Joanna Winkler. Together, we continue to provide food, education, and hands-on volunteer experience to the Cherry Hill community. We sell our produce on-site every Saturday, accepting EBT, WIC, Credit and Debit. As a member of the Farm Alliance of Baltimore, we also sell produce at the 32nd St. Farmers Market and to wholesale customers.
Located on the 900 block of Cherry Hill Road at Veronica Avenue, Cherry Hill Urban Garden is centrally located in the community at the “top the hill”. This 1.5 acre site is leased from the Baltimore Housing Authority (BHA) and is bordered by four churches, an elementary school, a new senior apartment complex and even an identical 1.5 acre vacant lot currently being mowed by BHA! Currently 4000 sqft. is under intensive vegetable production, most being our 65′ rows, although we are also growing in a high tunnel and smaller raised beds. As you can see we have a lot of room to grow into.
The mission of the Cherry Hill Eat Healthy Live Healthy Urban Garden is to provide Cherry Hill residents with convenient access to fresh produce at affordable prices.
More than just a place to grow produce, the Eat Healthy Live Healthy Urban Garden aims to:
- host programs on urban agriculture and healthy eating
- promote health and fitness
- keep money in the community
- create apprenticeships and job opportunities for youth
- foster pride in Cherry Hill
We hope to unite families, schools, and the Cherry Hill community around the issue of food.