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Community garden aims to feed body and spirit

By By MELISSA CROWE - Victoria Advocate
Jan. 15, 2012 at 4 p.m.
Updated Jan. 15, 2012 at 7:16 p.m.


If You Go:

WHAT: Victoria City Council meetingWHEN: 5 p.m. Tuesday WHERE: Council chambers, 107 W. Juan Linn St.

A community garden could soon be sprouting up in Victoria.

City councilman Gabriel Soliz and lifetime-Victoria resident Rosalinda Garcia want to partner with local churches to create pilot programs for community gardens across town.

They will present their idea that has been cultivating for three years to the council during its 5 p.m. Tuesday meeting.

The two want moral support plus a little bit of compost from the council and city.

Garcia, 57, said she hopes the garden brings families back to the basics.

"I see this as a generational thing - kids, parents, grandparents, get them all involved and create whole families again," Garcia said.

Soliz said the gardens would give a sense of empowerment and self-reliance to participants.

He and Garcia have their sights set on teaching service and feeding the masses with a harvest of beans, cucumbers, potatoes and more. Anyone who works in the garden can take from it.

"You give a man a fish and he eats for a day, you teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime," Garcia said. "That's the concept I want."

The first garden would be planted in a donated plot next to Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, on the southwest side of town, where Garcia is a member.

Soliz and Garcia have plans to expand the project to St. Peter's Baptist Church, St. Mary's Catholic Church, the synagogue and mosque.

Also on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting is second readings of several ordinances.

One would transfer $700,000 from the city's general fund to the fire department's building and improvements capital fund.

Another would allocate $173,800 in Hotel Occupancy Tax funds to support area art and historic preservation organizations.

The council will have a first reading on an ordinance that calls for a joint election with the school district and junior college district and other entities.

The election is scheduled for May 12 and four city council seats are up for grabs: districts 1 through 4.

The first day to file for place on the ballot is Feb. 4, which falls on a Saturday, but because the City Secretary's Office is closed during weekends, the first day to file is Feb. 6.

The council is also expected to decide if it plans to fund a portion of a proposed film festival scheduled March 22 to 24, the weekend after Austin's South by Southwest festival.

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