• Community garden, farmers market gives Parramore residents more access to fresh food

    By: Len Kiese


    PARRAMORE, Fla. - Residents in Parramore have to travel at least a couple of miles before they come across a grocery store.

    The area on the west side of Orange County is considered a “food desert.”

    However, now residents can skip the grocery store and get their fresh food from a community garden.

    Read: Wider sidewalks, bike paths coming to Parramore

    Lynn Nicholson set up the community garden on an open lot on West Robinson street that used to be a neighborhood dumping ground.

    © 2018 Cox Media Group.
    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    “We started tilling. We found concrete underneath pipes,” Nicholson told Channel 9’s Len Kiese.

    However, with a lot of water and work, the garden has grown to 19 plots of fruits and vegetables that go right back to people in Parramore.

    "We're proud.  And as a matter of fact, the motto for the garden is, ‘Pride grows here,’" garden historian Audrey Alexander said.

    Watch: Weekly farmer's market to open in Parramore

    One thing the community is looking to change is the uptick in crime.

    Statistics show in the last six months, 123 violent crimes and 618 property crimes were committed in the area surrounding the garden.

    "We don't allow a lot of crap in here. If you have negativity, you've gotta go. Only positive people here,” Nicholson said.

    It's one of the reasons Nicholson calls the area a place of growth, a bright spot in Parramore.

    "I consider this the greatest spot.  It's the healthiest spot. It's a place of tranquility,” Nicholson said.

    Read: City considers funding homebuyers club to help turn Parramore renters into homeowners

    Fruits and vegetables from the Parramore Community Garden will be available at the new Parramore Farmers Market that opens Jan. 6 and every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the east side of the Orlando City Stadium. 

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