18-acre Phoenix lot being transformed into thriving food oasis

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A huge, vacant piece of land in south Phoenix is being transformed into a massive farm and community garden. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A huge, vacant piece of land in south Phoenix is being transformed into a massive farm and community garden. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Crops are finally starting to pop up which is creating a lot of excitement. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Crops are finally starting to pop up which is creating a lot of excitement. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
There's also a community garden, where people can pay just $5 a month for a 50-foot long area to grow fruits or vegetables. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) There's also a community garden, where people can pay just $5 a month for a 50-foot long area to grow fruits or vegetables. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Millions of dollars in funds are still needed to get the project where it needs to be. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Millions of dollars in funds are still needed to get the project where it needs to be. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A huge, vacant piece of land in south Phoenix is being transformed into a massive farm and community garden.

After months of cultivating and planting, viable crops are finally sprouting up.

It's all about community wellness in a south Phoenix neighborhood where an 18-acre lot that sat vacant for 35 years is being transformed into a thriving food oasis.

Now crops are finally starting to pop up, creating a lot of excitement.

"When I first moved into this neighborhood, it was all fenced in with a 6-foot chain link fence that people were driving over it in places, dumping trash out here. There was all kinds of disgusting stuff out here," said farmer and resident, Bruce Babcock. 

With a new grant from ArtPlace of America and the partnership between the Desert  Botanical Garden, the Roosevelt School District and Cultivate South Phoenix, the 18-acre plot of land on the corner of West Vineyard Road, and South 15th Avenue is being split into 36, quarter-acre incubator farms managed by area farmers.

"We've got farmers from Lebanon, from Iraq, from Mexico, from south Phoenix," said one farmer.

The crops they harvest will eventually be sold at a farmer's market that will be built on the property. Those crops include radishes, mustard greens, beets and spinach and carrots and lettuces, onion and dill. 

There's also a community garden, where people can pay just $5 a month for a 50-foot-long area to grow fruits or vegetables.

"The idea of the project is that you're working alongside community and that everyone's helping each other with their gardening," said Nick de la Fuente with Desert Botanical Gardens.

The Spaces of Opportunity Garden project is five to ten years from being fully built out.

Millions of dollars in funds are still needed to get the project where it needs to be.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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