A gar­den grows in Sand­town-Winch­ester

Tub­man House of­fers free fruits and veg­eta­bles to the com­mu­nity

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - HOME SALES - By Oyin Ade­doyin

Around the cor­ner from the Fred­die Gray mu­ral at N. Mount and Pres­bury St. and across the street from Gil­mor Homes public hous­ing project, rows of va­cant houses once stood. Now, dozens of res­i­dents of Sand­town-Winch­ester gather there ev­ery Sun­day. The se­ries of va­cant houses set for de­mo­li­tion at and around 1618 Pres­bury St. were torn down so that the Tub­man House—a neigh­bor­hood or­ga­ni­za­tion named af­ter Mary­land’s iconic abolis­tion­ist—can pro­vide free pro­duce to the com­mu­nity from its own gar­den.

The mak­ing of the Tub­man House Gar­den

Nearly 15 res­i­dents showed up on a re­cent cloudy Tuesday and left with smiles and bags full of fruits and veg­eta­bles — rang­ing from kale to or­anges to cu­cum­bers. They didn’t have to worry about pay­ing for the pro­duce and they could trust where they were get­ting it from, af­ter all, most of them had watched it grow.

The Tub­man House, an or­ga­ni­za­tion formed in 2016, serves as a re­source for the Sand­town-Winch­ester com­mu­nity and its sur­round­ing neigh­bor­hoods. Founder Do­minique Stevenson started the gar­den as a way to pro­vide the com­mu­nity with lo­cally grown fruits and veg­eta­bles at no cost.

Founder Do­minique Stevenson

Stevenson was work­ing with men in prison be­fore she started Tub­man House. Most days, they walked around the neigh­bor­hood, hand­ing out bagged lunches mostly to chil­dren and adults to curb the prob­lem of hunger within the food dessert com­mu­nity. She said that most of the men that she worked with felt a sense of re­morse.

“A lot of them wanted to do some­thing that was re­demp­tive, they felt like they had taken from the com­mu­nity and they wanted to fig­ure out a way to give back.”

One man in par­tic­u­lar, who had grown up in the neigh­bor­hood, iden­ti­fied the lo­ca­tion across the street from Gil­mor Homes. That’s when Tub­man House pres­i­dent Ed­die Con­way, who also worked at Gil­mor, got in­volved.

A hen house over­looks one of the gar­den plots at Tub­man House Farms, a com­mu­nity gar­den in the Sand­town Winch­ester neigh­bor­hood.

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