At a time when hunger in America has tripled between 2019 and August of this year, Child Development Professor Tyrone Ledford and his organization Holistic Divine Innovations have established a Community Garden in Ridgecrest that provides more than fresh produce.
The Ridgecrest Community Garden, located on Haloid Street, encourages positive community engagement, restores hope, and improves the health and well-being of the community by providing fresh organic produce, education, and a space for healing, and positive social engagement.
Built with the assistance of the community who donated their time, monies, and materials, the goal is to promote selfsustainable living, provide fresh organic produce, and to increase conscious nutritional awareness.
Ledford says he grew up gardening and his passion for it came from his grandmother. “I began gardening on a larger scale as I changed to more of a plant-based and holistic lifestyle,” he said. “I currently garden and grow more than 100 plants in my yard here in Ridgecrest.”
Ledford and his organization are directors of the Compton Community Garden, and have seen firsthand how community gardens can strongly and positively impact communities. “I wanted to bring a community garden to Ridgecrest to help strengthen our community, especially during these very difficult and divisive times,” he continued. “Community gardens can have great outcomes including bringing more unity to a community, decreasing crime rate, increasing our fresh, organic food resources, improving food security, and improving our mental health. Community gardens open a platform for individuals to practice stewardship through learning how to be responsible and accountable for taking care of our environment through learning gardening, agriculture, and plant and herbal medicine.”
The community garden is rising to be one of the local staples and Ledford anticipates the community garden being a main source of fresh organic produce, and education on health and wellness. He welcomes the college’s partnership with the community garden by hosting wellness events for students and the community and donating funds to sponsor raised beds which can serve fresh produce as part of Cerro Coso’s hunger free campus program.