INDIANAPOLIS — At the Elephant Gardens, a group backyard on town’s northeast aspect, 4 generations of relations are working collectively to make a optimistic affect and ensure their neighbors have good, wholesome, nutrient-dense meals.
“Pun intended it was a very organic process, right? It wasn’t intentional at first. We started in our backyard just growing food for ourselves,” stated Vivian Muhammad, co-owner of The Elephant Gardens positioned at 3348 N. Sherman Dr. “I won’t say we grow it all, but we grow a lot.”
On any given day, you may see three girls and their relations harvesting, watering, rising and altering their group.
“It’s a family affair and were it not for everyone participating, we could not pull this off,” Muhammad stated.
Muhammad works together with her mother, daughter, sons and grandchildren on the gardens.
Their east aspect neighborhood is a meals desert.
“We really don’t have much in a mile radius at all. Two-mile radius, three-mile radius, five-mile radius, we don’t have a lot of access to nutrient-dense produce. Food desert is kind of a misnomer because there’s food here, but it’s just not the right food. It’s not the most nutrient-dense food,” stated Muhammad.
What began as a yard backyard for themselves has now become a group backyard, a spot their neighbors can come and buy nutrient-dense produce.
“As the situation changed in our neighborhood, our mission kind of was shaped by the what was happening in our community,” stated Muhammad.
They work with EBT and Fresh Bucks, permitting everybody within the space the possibility to purchase their fresh natural produce.
Muhammad stated COVID-19 actually highlighted the necessity for wholesome meals as a result of their group was hit arduous by the virus.
“Why? Well, it hit hard because of the comorbidities, the things that we were already suffering from — the diabetes, the high blood pressure, the heart disease, the obesity,” Muhammad stated. “All of these comorbidities existed long before COVID, and we already had a pandemic as far as diabetes was concerned.”
She stated making a optimistic affect in the neighborhood she’s referred to as house for a long time makes all of the arduous work price it.
“We’ve lived in this neighborhood since 1970, and so we’ve seen it go through a lot of changes,” Muhammad stated. “We’ve seen grocery stores open and close. We’ve seen schools open and close. We’ve seen the neighborhood completely shift, and so being able to add a positive energy back into our own community, that’s really the best reward that we could ask for.”
You can come purchase their fresh produce 4 days every week on the east aspect at 3348 N Sherman Drive. They are open for market from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Mondays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays and eight a.m.-noon Fridays.