Skip to Content

Peoria garden marks three years of growing fresh produce in a food desert

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

PEORIA (HOI) -- Located at the corner of Martin and Steubenville in Peoria, Ellora's Garden of Hope provides South Side residents with something that's hard to find in the neighborhood, fruits and vegetables.

"We have green beans, today they're planting cucumbers, we have beets, we have zucchini, we have squash...pick a vegetable, we probably have it growing," said Cheryl Boswell.

Boswell, a Peoria resident, inherited the garden from her mother, Ellora. Ellora started planting fourteen years ago on a small farm outside the city. The garden was originally meant to supplement a church's food pantry.

Today, it serves people directly, something that's not lost on Andre Hoyle. Hoyle is part of PeoriaCorps, one of the groups helping maintain the garden this year.

"I think it's important for families to have access to a garden like this, especially, not everyone has access to a grocery store, or transportation to go to a grocery store," said Hoyle.

But as Boswell has learned, the garden has become more than just a source of nutrition.

"I also had a couple people that say 'I just come here to think sometimes, I just come here to think,' so we have a little urban oasis right here on the South Side of Peoria," said Boswell.

Some of the vegetables, including green beans, are expected to be ready as soon as June. Neighbors are encouraged to swing by and pick what they need.

Also in the works -- Boswell plans to rename the site, "My Mother's Garden," to honor all the mothers of the South Side.

Andy Weber

Skip to content