Oasis in Overtown

Miami green market growing with pride

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High-rise buildings aren’t the only things sprouting up in Downtown Miami

Tomatoes, bananas, lettuce, cilantro and more are growing in the heart of Overtown, under the project called Roots in the City that's putting a green market in the inner city.

Maggi Pons is the lead grower, but she has several local gardeners helping her. 

“The people that we hire, they are from Overtown,” Pons said. "They also learn about vegetables, they reach out to the community, they also teach the community what they've learned." 

In fact, several residents are reaping the benefits of what they are sowing. And it all started with a plot of land three years ago. 

Now there are four organic growing gardens changing the landscape of urban decay.

"Now, I'm giving back to the community rather than being like some other people who are taking from it," said resident Richard Lorde.

A police officer who has worked the area for years said he's happy to see fruits and vegetables instead of guns and narcotics.

City of Miami officials celebrated the opening of the Roots in the City Farmer’s Market.  The Wholesome Wave Foundation has helped establish “Nourishing Neighborhoods” like this one in 14 states.

At this farmer’s market, only local produce is for sale and buyers get double value for their food stamps.

It’s open to the public on Wednesday afternoons from 1 to 5 p.m., until the end of April. Then it will reopen during the fall growing season. 

Overtown resident Sally Elizabeth Wallace says she is happy to be able to get fresh fruits ad vegetables that are convenient and affordable.

"It's convenient, it's not far, it's affordable," said Wallace. "And we really want fresh vegetables...see, I had started stealing food, and I don't delight in that."

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