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Urban Gardeners Getting Economic Boost To Supply Produce For Columbus' Food Deserts

A selection of produce at the Veggie Van in Linden. The project launched this summer, bringing fresh fruit and vegetables to Columbus' food deserts.
Paige Pfleger
/
WOSU
A selection of produce at the Veggie Van in Linden. The project launched in 2020, bringing fresh fruit and vegetables to Columbus' food deserts.

Columbus City Council votes on Monday to allow urban produce growers to sell their own bounty where they live.

An ordinance sponsored by Columbus City Councilwoman Priscilla Tyson would let urban gardeners sell their fresh produce in their own neighborhood. Tyson said this makes it more convenient for residents living in food deserts.

"Individuals who are growers they could not sell on their property,” Tyson said. “So based upon that they now can sell their produce if they have an acre or less in their community."

Tyson said it is estimated there are more than 274,000 residents in Franklin County don’t have a community grocery store and lack access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

The city law would encourage urban growers to start their own business with their produce.

"Will allow them to be able to have economic empowerment because individuals who are producing fresh produce are also being able to have their own business,” Tyson said.

The efforts are part of the city’s green urban agriculture strategic plan.