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Community Gardens Flourish As Food Costs Increase

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Waiting lists can be long for community gardens in the D.C. area.
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Waiting lists can be long for community gardens in the D.C. area.

Right now, the area next to the 7-Eleven along Eastern Avenue in Silver Spring is just an empty grass lot. D.C. lies just across the road. But by the end of next week, this will be the tenth community garden in Montgomery County.

Two years ago, there were no such gardens. There are many reasons for their popularity -- but one factor being cited more and more frequently is that it can keep food costs down for families.

Ursula Sabia Sukinik, director of community gardens for the county, says one plot can produce enough for the average family of four for an entire year. Buying that much food in a grocery store is far more expensive, she adds.

"$20.41 a week. That's just basic fruits and vegetables for a family of four. A community garden -- our two hundred square foot plot is thirty dollars for the year," she says.

This garden in Silver Spring will have a cistern to provide water. And for the novice gardeners, the county does have professionals to help teach them how to grow a successful crop.

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