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Grown Here at Home: Carilion’s Morningside Urban Farm providing food to SE Roanoke food desert

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 7:14 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Nestled in Roanoke’s Morningside neighborhood is Carilion’s Morningside Urban Farm.

“In communications with the neighborhood, it came up as a possibility of a way to provide fresh produce to the neighborhood,” said Angela Charlton, registered dietitian and health educator.

Cam Terry runs the farm.

“I moved to Roanoke in the Fall of 2017 with a mission of changing my career to start an agricultural business. The first meeting I took was with the Community Garden Association. I walked in and asked if they had any projects. They were working on the plans for this place at that time. Basically, they turned it over to me halfway designed and I just took it and ran with it,” Cam said.

2019 was the first full growing season.

“It’s really a very fully functional and educational farm,” Angela said.

Cam teaches classes at the farm that are open to people of all ages.

“We get gardeners who are at all different levels. Some of them are master gardeners who just want to sharpen up, other people are completely new,” he said.

“The community response has been really great. We have a lot of regular folks that come and volunteer or come to the classes. In fact, we had to expand some of our classes because of the interest,” Angela explained.

“There is just so much that’s interesting and fascinating about growing food that it kind of just sells itself,” Cam said.

The farm also supplies fresh produce to food banks, the Rescue Mission and other organizations. The vision won’t stop here, though. The plan is to set up more gardens like this in the future.

Carilion is gathering input regarding the health of our communities and would like to hear from you. The feedback will be used to address the health needs for each community hospital. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete, and you can enter for a $100 grocery store gift card. The deadline to participate is January 31. Click here to take the survey.

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