South Nashville nonprofit helping teach gardening and entrepreneurship skills

community garden.jpeg
Posted at 10:17 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 07:52:52-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In the backyard of a South Nashville elementary school, seeds are being planted. And down the street, there's a lot of growth taking place too.

"Even though this doesn't qualify as a food desert, I feel like there were not a lot of places where people can come and maybe get some hand-crafted baked goods or fresh vegetables here in this neighborhood," said Carlos Uroza, executive director of Cosecha Community Development.

Cosecha Community Development is a nonprofit that started three years ago with the goal of bringing neighbors around Nolensville Pike together through community gardens, markets, and mentorship programs.

"Especially with certain communities, there's a lot of processed food and this gives them an outlet an opportunity for them to taste something that maybe sometimes they just don't have access to," Uroza said.

This summer the community market is set to return on May 4.

"We hope that this year we have a bigger reach," he said.

Like the name Cosecha suggests, the nonprofit is busy harvesting, not only fresh produce but also an opportunity for Nashville's youth.

"We are launching a new social enterprise in which they themselves are elaborating recipes and creating Mexican popsicles, paletas, that we are about to launch this spring and hopefully by the summer," Uroza said.

If all goes as planned produce to make, the paletas will come from the garden, and they'll be sold at Cosecha's community market.

Organizers say they're always looking for opportunities to partner with grocery stores to reduce food waste and keep their programs funded.