Healthy Bodegas Looking to Expand Humboldt Park Garden, Grow More Food

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By Victoria Johnson, DNAInfo 

 The Humboldt Park Edible Garden is looking to expand and grow more food for the Healthy Bodegas program, which seeks to get more fresh fruits and veggies to Humboldt Park corner stores. HUMBOLDT PARK — A program that seeks to get more fresh fruit and veggies on Humboldt Park residents’ plates is hoping to expand its garden to feed even more people.

The Puerto Rican Cultural Center launched its Healthy Bodegas initiative in December 2012 to bring more healthy foods into corner stores that didn’t typically offer fresh fruits and vegetables.

During growth seasons the produce is sourced from a garden maintained outside the historic Humboldt Park Receptory Building and Stable off Division Street and Humboldt Drive.

“Last year we harvested about 500 pounds, but my goal this year is 3,000 pounds in total,” said PRCC food coordinator Abel Fernandez.

To that end, Fernandez has launched a GoFundMe campaign, hoping to raise $2,500 for soil, seeds, compost, organic fruit trees, soil, gardening tools, and — more soil.

“We are growing, but there’s not enough space to grow enough food for the whole community,” he said. “So this will help us expand.”

Fernandez hopes to get some fruit trees growing this year, but he plans to scale back a bit on things that weren’t as popular last year.

“Swiss chard, kale, collard greens, people didn’t want to take those home,” he said. “So we’re going to plant more tomatoes, onions, things people are more familiar with.”

The GoFundMe campaign doesn’t have an official end date, but Fernandez said he will keep it open until late May.

Donors can donate for specific items or just donate a general dollar amount that can go towards anything.