By Eliott Rodriguez

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Celina Ishahak is a volunteer with Green Haven Project, a community garden located in Miami’s Overtown, and she gave CBS4 a tour of the produce that is ready to harvest on the site on NW 16 Street.

“Right now, we have carrots, eggplant, garlic chive, kale, cranberry hibiscus, papaya, and moringa which is in abundance everywhere, and Thai basil, too,” said Ishahak.

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This is a community garden that has been in existence for the past three and half years in the middle of Historic Black Overtown.

The area is considered a ‘food desert,’ meaning there is a lack of access to healthy produce.

David Roper, president of Green Haven, explained the mission.

“Everything we grow is organic, we don’t charge anyone anything to learn and to come get fresh produce,” he said.

“There’s a lot of GMOs within the fruits and veggies that we buy, there’s a lot of pesticides and herbicides.”

Here anyone can come to help grow and gather what they need.

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“We knock on doors and let people know that it’s ready to harvest,” Roper explained.

People like Calvin Plummer, a high school freshman.

“Recently, I moved to that apartment right there, and Jorge, the co-founder of Green Haven, saw us outside playing and came and asked if my mom wanted any vegetables. And I said, ‘yeah.”

He quickly became a volunteer/intern this summer learning all about gardening.

He proudly showed us the fruits of his labor in pots in the shade and an irrigation drip line.

Planting seeds, physically and figuratively, the organization’s mission is to educate people with tools to a healthier lifestyle and nurture a village.

Roper said, to change people’s lives you need to “teach people how to fish.”  Or in this case, plant.

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For more information on the organization, visit their website. 

Eliott Rodriguez