SAN ANTONIO – For the last four years, two formerly vacant lots along New Braunfels Avenue have been transformed into a community garden feeding underserved areas in San Antonio.

  • Garden opened in 2015
  • Continues to grow and feed community members

Stephen Lucke started the Gardopia Gardens in 2015 with the goal of teaching San Antonio residents not only how to plant and eat healthy foods but teach them about the virtues of fresh foods.

"The community garden is meant for residents here in San Antonio to be able to come and practice agriculture in the city," said Lucke. "This is a great area for them to get some hands on experience.”

The half-acre micro-farm continues to grow because the need on the city's east side that still exists.

“We know about the African-American community and the Mexican-American community being relegated to certain parts of town, and these towns have been disenfranchised, and part of that disenfranchisement is creating food deserts, and what I like to call food swamps,” said Lucke. "It’s not that there’s not enough food in San Antonio, it’s that all of the fast food restaurants are conglomerated around these areas, so we don’t have access to fresh, local produce.”

Gardopia has teamed up a number of different organizations and non-profits to further the cause, including The Mission Continues, a veterans non-profit group that will provide assistance during an upcoming project in January.

“By addressing these food deserts and these food swamps in these economically depressed areas, we can make that change, we can be the change, and we can encourage future generations to lead healthier lifestyles,” said Lucke.

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