EL PASO, Texas - A new community garden inside Ascarate Park allows residents to learn how to plant and grow vegetables.
The garden is part of the County's Fit to Grow initiative, which is a collaborative with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
The program offers learning sessions on soils, irrigation, plants, pest and disease and other gardening essentials. Residents can attend the learning sessions for free Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Once harvest arrives, the vegetables will be donated to the El Pasoans Fighting for Hunger Food Bank, formerly the West Texas Food Bank.
Currently, the program is geared toward youth, though it's open to the public.
"It's something different because in my normal life, I'm usually at my house doing whatever but here I get to go outside and learn about new stuff -- about the gardening, how to grow it, how to harvest it, different plants I've never seen or heard of," said Pedro Soto, who learned of the garden through the Juvenile Probation program.
Organizers hope it's a small step at curbing obesity.
"Gardening provides a lot of benefits. We can certainly look at math and science an all of the technical aspects of that but gardening brings in your physical activity. You're exercising when you don't even know you're exercising," said Denise Rodriguez, The County's Extension Agent for Horticulture.
The garden was founded by a planning grant from the Paso Del Norte Health foundation.