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What started as 25 herb and vegetable plots at a community farm in Riverside Park six years ago has grown to 170 plots, with an estimated harvest this summer and fall of approximately 2,000 pounds of lettuce and tomatoes, among other products.

The plots are awarded free of charge to qualifying low-income New Bedford residents, and it’s become such a success that new locations are opening soon because all 170 plots at Riverside are currently claimed.

Luisa Raymundo, a graduate of New Bedford High School who will attend Bridgewater State University, and Alana Borden, a student at Bristol County Agricultural, are part of what’s called the Green Team, a project initiated by Groundwork Southcoast.

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Raymundo said she’s excited that they’ll be able to harvest spicy chili, a highly desired product among the Guatemalan community in the city, and chipilín, an herb used by Central Americans in tamale preparation. Borden estimated that they’ll be harvesting certain items by late June or early July.

How does it work? Families sign up and are assigned a plot that they are responsible for maintaining independently.

“We provide the plot and the soil to start. Everything else, such as the seeds or plants, must be brought by the adopting person,” explained Eric Andrade, the impact director at Groundwork SouthCoast.

For further information, email or contact María Fortes, the community engagement manager of the organization, at 774-202-9366.

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