Ms. Janet Taylor on Cultivating Growth & Unity in the Glades Community
Updated: Apr 26, 2022
Born in Opelousas, Louisiana, Ms. Janet Taylor was raised in the Glades on a farm just six miles out from Clewiston. For the last 75 years, Ms. Taylor has continued to call Clewiston home and has been an active and prolific resident. This month she shared with us her commitment to the community, gardening and creating unity for all.
Q: How did the community garden start?
A: The garden was developed 20+ plus years ago to encompass the whole region for anyone located anywhere in the Glades that wanted to come and be.
Most recently, we partnered with the Harlem Town Association, U.S. Sugar, Harlem Civic Improvement Council and other organization to revitalize our community garden and expand its access to the whole region. The fenced garden now features an irrigation system with designated plots for certain produce.
Q: What is the purpose of the community garden?
A: We are trying to develop unity with our community garden. We also want to provide produce to the community and unite residents from different backgrounds to come together and share their cultures and talk to each other through plant cultivation and produce.
Q: What is grown in the community garden?
A: The community garden features mainly produce. We grow a variety of vegetables and spices including, collard greens, sugar peas, and tomatoes. Through our Caribbean residents, our community garden features a unique selection of spices. Some bananas and pineapples have also been planted in the garden. During Christmas, we like to plant poinsettias.
Q: How does gardening help the health and wellbeing of the Glades?
A: Our community garden helps us to eat healthier. In addition to our quest for unification, we want to promote healthy eating. A lot of our residents turn to the community garden to grow, and harvest produce and plants that have medicinal qualities. Currently, our aloe plant is one of the most popular.
Q: What is your favorite thing to plant in the community garden?
A: I love to plant collard greens, turnip greens and tomatoes with my grandchildren.
Q: How does the community garden engage with other local organizations?
A: We love partnering with our local churches and ministries and working with our youth groups. We are also always looking for opportunities to work with our local teachers and their classrooms as a learning opportunity for our children.
We also have hosted events like the Black History Program, where we served lunch with produce from the garden.
Q: What is your long-term vision for the community garden?
A: Long term, I would love for us to set up a farmer’s market to buy and sell food grown from our garden and elsewhere in the Glades. We are already working towards that, working with potential partners to invest in a pavilion where people can sell and display their produce.
Q: Do you have something special, fun or unique you would like to share about the garden?
A: Visiting the community garden is a social gathering event. People can come out and meet each other and we always welcome new visitors. We like to put on an activity or social event that encourages people to visit.
Q: What is the one thing you would like to share with those who may not be familiar with the community garden?
A: We would love to see you visit! Even if you don’t want to garden, please visit. Someone is always there, take time to engage in your community and see what’s going on. We would love to have you come out and see!
Those interested in volunteering or supporting the community garden can email email@example.com for more information.