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Community gardens help combat increasing food prices

The Early evening news on KOTA Territory TV
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 5:12 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - As shortages in food and other products come and go, you never know what will be next. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, people shifted toward urban gardening or community gardens to secure their fresh produce.

“We built this community garden about two years ago, in 2020. We provided the land; you know we’ve got a lot of parkland in Rapid City and a lot of people who want to garden,” said Landscape Designer for the City of Rapid City, Melissa Petersen.

The community garden is just one of many in Rapid City. One Earth says community gardens began during World War 1 and supplied nearly 40 percent of fresh produce during that time and gardens have become increasingly popular during times of crisis because they combat supply food security.

“I think having a community garden is really beneficial to a lot of people, both for fresh food, and cheaper food. Obviously, it takes some work, but you get some food out of it,” said Petersen. People now are looking toward gardens as a hobby but also to cut costs at the grocery store, with inflation hitting 8.6 percent in May. “I think with how high food costs are now, it can totally supplement someone’s diet, with some fresh food”

The community garden run by the city has a high demand, but not enough supply. “We actually have a waiting list, and we have for two years. So, it’s full right now, and hopefully, people have planted by now, but yeah, it’s been great, and we are actually looking at building another one in the future,” said the manager of the LaCroix community garden.

For a list of community gardens in the Black Hills click here.

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