Urban farms on neighborhood street corners and rooftops have been a source for fresh produce during the coronavirus pandemic. For several months, food banks have seen long lines as people in Central Florida, and across the state, have struggled to pay their bills. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders never stopped the essential work being done at the South Street Farm in West Orlando.
“What we’re trying to do here is use a lot, inside of the city of Orlando that wasn’t being used for anything,” Daniel Friedline, City of Orlando Sustainability Program manager said. For about five years Friedline and his team with the City of Orlando’s office of sustainability and resilience have worked to turn empty lots into fields of fresh food. “It’s Florida, it’s hot, it rains a lot, we get a lot of rain, so it takes an immense amount of weeding,” Friedline said.
The urban farms rely heavily on volunteers, which Friedline admits has been an extra challenge during the COVID-19 outbreak. “It’s limited us in the number of volunteers that we can have and so really right now we’re just relying on city staff to be able to come out, " Friedline said. Even with some limitations, the team and the support of Infinite Zion Farms, has provided truck beds full of fresh produce to charities that have been delivering to seniors in Orlando.
Read more at Click Orlando.