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The people and neighborhoods of our region have fascinating stories to tell, and WVXU is committed to telling them. Round the Corner is our community storytelling initiative, shining a light on the people, businesses, history, and events that make Greater Cincinnati such a fascinating place to live, work, and raise a family. Stories will air on 91.7 WVXU and 88.5 WMUB, and stream on, the WVXU mobile app, and on your smart speaker.

Community-Grown Produce Market Now Open In Lincoln Heights

A fresh produce market is now open in Lincoln Heights, just in time for the community's celebration of 75 years as a village.

The organization The Heights Movement transformed an empty lot into rows of crops like cucumbers, corn, squash, tomatoes, okra and watermelon. They hired young people to work the soil and paint a bright mural along the fence row.

"They're learning how to pollinate seeds, how to prune flowers, and how to use compost and recycle the materials that they have; and they're doing it in a fun way," said William Farley, community engagement director. "We're planting the seeds inside of them so hopefully, once they get older, this will be something that's normal to them and something that's regular, and they can teach their kids."

The Jackson Street Produce Market opened for the first time Saturday and will be open with a stand each weekend. They'll supply fresh produce to local stores throughout the week so it's always available to residents.

"With COVID, if it didn't show you anything else, we need to be more self-sustaining," Farley said. "So we're trying to fill in the gaps [of] what's missing in our neighborhood: food — fresh food — being the main thing."

Farley's 13-year-old daughter Sa'liya and the other young workers got paid for their work on the mural thanks to a grant from ArtsWave.

"This has been a very interesting project because you get to also learn more about people and get to learn about how to farm, and you to learn so many different things while painting and making this stuff," Sa'liya said. "And we just showed you what Lincoln Heights is pretty much all about."

Now that the summer crop is in, the crew will transition to fall and winter foods. The group is also working to expand the site with a fire pit and picnic tables, hoping to make it a social space as well as a practical one.

Lincoln Heights is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee this weekend with a parade and festival Saturday and Sunday.

Look for more stories about Lincoln Heights in the coming weeks as part of our community storytelling series 'Round the Corner.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.