US (CT): “We grow community:” How urban agriculture has sprouted in New Haven

In January, Dishaun Harris started selling containers of his organic microgreens at New Haven’s City Seed Indoor Winter Market. 

Harris, a New Haven native, created the urban agriculture company Root Life after working as a farmer and environmental educator at Common Ground High School for three and a half years. Harris now has over ten years of urban farming experience, which he uses to manage community gardens across New Haven. In these gardens, he grows produce for his Community Supported Agriculture subscription programs and teaches youth and community members how to start gardens of their own. New Haven has over 50 community gardens. 

Last year, Harris started a garden behind the Faith Temple Deliverance Center on Newhall Street — he also currently manages the Armory Community Garden on County Street. Harris explained that community gardens provide increased access to fresh produce while serving as a means to strengthen and build community within New Haven.

“They allow [us], in a lot of spaces, to address food apartheid issues,” Harris said to the News. “So getting healthy food to local residents in ways they would not be able to get otherwise because it’s just not in their neighborhoods, their areas, their cities.”


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