Man Grows Free Food in 30 Abandoned Lots with Gardens for City’s Poorest Residents & At-Risk Bees

Poverty is really a horrible thing, especially for the people who experience it every day. Some of them do not have even the basic amenities and every day is a real struggle for food and basic things.

Hence, we should try our best to help those ones that are in need, and fortunately there are many people willing to do that. David Young is one of those people that did everything that he could to help the community and at the same time the environment.

The hurricane Katrina devastated whole areas where people lived and after a decade of its occurrence, the side effects of this disastrous hurricane are still felt among the residents. There are many abandoned and dilapidated buildings in the area, and people are doing their best to repair them considering the fact how financially demanding is that. In this struggle they have an issue with the bees as they have swarmed their residences thus becoming a great menace to people.

Honey bees are very important for our planet and also for mankind and since they have enrolled the endangered list we should do whatever we can to save them. So, in order to help the people and at the same save the bees David Young has come to the perfect solution, creating a self- sustainable garden that will house all the unwanted bees in the Ninth Ward.

Young founded a volunteer-run organization, Capstone Community Gardens, which helps the low-income city residents, and at the same time meets the bees’ need for safe and eco-friendly home. Namely, this organization thanks to the garden offers free food to low-income earners, and a great thriving environment for the bees.

This upstanding citizen is a retiree from the law enforcement, but he did not stop his activities and thus became a full-time volunteer. He resides in a house in the neighborhood that has been rebuilt twice since Hurricane Katrina. For the building of the garden he chose 30 abandoned lots in the area.

On Capstone website is written:

“Capstone is a small nonprofit that has taken previously blighted or vacant lots in the Lower Ninth Ward and developed them into productive gardens and orchards. Located in part of a food desert Capstone grows and provides food at no cost to those who need it. We also assist others in starting their own gardens or allow others to garden on our lots as we have space available.”

The volunteers of the organization give the rations to the residents which include Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, mustard greens, kale, and cucumbers.

One of the volunteers, Amy Kraus, stated the following:

“If you’re low-income, if you don’t have any money, if you have no way to support yourself, that is not enough to live off of. They give a small amount of food for the entire month. So David has made sure that these gardens are all over the community and people can go harvest them at any time if they feel the need for the food — which I think is a wonderful thing.” 

The residents of this community can call Capstone and the volunteers that will help them to clear their land that has been infested with bees. The evacuation is safe for the bees by collecting them with a low-suction vacuum, and then released in a safer suitable environment like the Capstone Community Gardens.

In the garden there is also domestic animal world like goats that consume the overgrown bushes, and chickens who offer eggs which are later on being delivered to the less-privileged in the area. Kraus states that the volunteers collect the eggs and bring them to the residents “who either can’t get out of their house to get food for themselves, or they don’t have enough money.”

David Young is the perfect example how even a senior can still do something that is of great benefit for the community meanwhile helping the environment. He regularly delivers food to the poor people securing their dinners. When there is an excess of food supplies, he donates them to the Harry Thompson Center, the homeless day center on Gravier Street downtown.

Kraus adds:

“I call David the Santa Claus of Food because he seriously looks like Santa Claus. If we all did our part, if we all did what we could for our community, to help one another, to help the environment as much as we could, could you imagine how peaceful — how wonderful life — would be?”