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The Bohemians visited with Alex and Todd from SEEDS Global to learn about an ambitious and important project underway right here in Atlanta, GA. While driving the three miles from our office to meet with SEEDS at their property, the drastic change of scenery was arresting.  The Publix and Kroger were replaced by small corner convenience stores and gas station marts—and only a few of them weren’t boarded up. Overgrown vegetation and unkept properties were the front yards of abandoned and broken buildings and homes. We were just a few miles west of downtown Atlanta. image We first met with Alex at an apartment complex he owns. Volunteers streamed in and out of the units as they tended to plants they were helping to grow. image Alex tells us that there is a real need for healthy foods in this community.  The grocery shopping that can be done within the neighborhood yields only sugary, salty and preservative filled, processed foods.  The lack of available fresh fruits and vegetables coupled with unhealthy eating habits is a dangerous combination. So what did Alex and Todd decide to do?  They set out to create nutritional resources in a food desert. image Their urban farming initiative began when they were donated 35 leftover hydroponic growing systems from The Hunger Games movie crew. So far, SEEDS has 150 treys of vegetables and herbs growing.  Residents in the community volunteer to help tend to the seedlings in exchange for the crops produced. And this is just the beginning. image image Alex and Todd showed us around the adjacent property, which right now is a dilapidated building and overgrown weeds. image image image But with money raised from their Indiegogo campaign and other donations received, they will be building rooftop greenhouses as well as a 20,000sq foot greenhouse in the back of the property.  Solar units will also be installed to power the hydroponic towers that will fill the gutted and renovated buildings. At least ten Live-Work units will also be built on the grounds. image Alex and Todd are well on their way to converting this abandoned property into an urban agricultural hub, where community members have a place to learn, grow and obtain healthy, fresh foods. “We’re doing this because there’s a need, ” Todd says.  ”We want to give access to and change this environment through healthy food.” Learn more about the SEEDS Atlanta initiative at their Indiegogo page.
 

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