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Ray Harts has plans to start with 10 raised garden beds, a 500 square foot shade structure and and an urban farm where crops would be sold to local restaurants. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group)
“This garden will produce unity — it will bring people together, even if it’s just for the vegetables,” Aqeel said.
By Sam Richards
East Bay Times
Mar 13, 2017
Pittsburg, California — Heracio Harts grew up near the El Pueblo housing project, and now he’s come back to grow vegetables there.
Harts, known by most as “Ray,” stands on a 2-acre plot, thick with tall grass fed by recent rains. That rain has also added a layer of rust to an old baseball backstop he said he’ll tear out to make room for a community garden behind the El Pueblo main office.
It’s a main component of the Healthy Hearts Institute, a nonprofit Harts started in 2014 to operate both a community garden and an urban farm to help pay for the enterprise. The urban farm, Harts said, would sell produce — to the school district or restaurants, for instance — to help pay for the garden. The Housing Authority will pay for the water.
Harts hopes that, on April 29, he and a dozen or so other people will be planting the first crops in this garden.