Mexico: Greenhouse gardening on the rise in Palomas

In Palomas, Mexico, just 35 miles south of Deming, access to fresh produce has historically been limited and expensive. As a result, diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity are rampant.

But an effort is underway to help locals improve their health by increasing access to fresh, homegrown produce. A key element in this effort is greenhouse gardening, and Palomas residents, Juana Lozoya and Juana Flores are leading a program that provides greenhouses for the community.

Lozoya and Flores are experienced gardeners who work with Border Partners, a non-profit organization based in Deming. While the organization and its Health Promoters – or Promotoras – are working to improve health in various ways, and greenhouse gardening has a key role in improving nutrition.

Since the greenhouse program started in 2010 with the construction of a large community greenhouse, it has expanded to schools and homes. “Vegetables from the greenhouse will help me save money and improve my family’s diet,” said Promotora, Aide Carreón who recently helped to construct a greenhouse next to her home.

The construction of Carreón’s greenhouse was part of a building frenzy that occurred last fall when ten home greenhouses were built. A grant from the Paso del Norte Foundation and generous private donations provided the needed materials. In exchange for materials, the program requires that each person who receives a greenhouse must help construct two other greenhouses after theirs is completed.

Read more at the Deming Headlight (Kara Naber)

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