BEAUMONT, Texas — The historic Pear Orchard neighborhood in Beaumont is now home to a community garden, thanks to a husband and wife duo.
The goal is to connect the people who live nearby to fresh fruits and vegetables in an effort to promote healthy behaviors.
Chef Delilah Johnson said that she noticed a need for families to have more access to fresh fruits and vegetables. With the help of her husband Earnest Johnson, they've been able to make this dream a reality.
Earnest grew up in the beloved neighborhood, so for him it's personal. He fell in love with food while gardening with his grandfather.
"Everybody knew everybody, and everybody looked out for everybody. When I grew up, this is how I grew up with my grandfather and his brothers and sisters this is what they did," he said. "We ate what we grew, well what my grandfather grew so just watching that it is a motivation to do something like this to put it in the neighborhood."
While gardening has been a tradition for this family, there's another reason that really pushed them to look into healthy habits.
Their 13-year-old son has sickle cell anemia.
"We all have to eat healthy at home, basically to keep him healthy as well," Delilah said.
They have been tending to land they purchased four years ago and instead of building a home, they are building better eating habits and serving the community they love.
Harvesting sunflower seeds is what they are currently focusing on, but they want to see what else can bloom.
"Our vision moving forward is to have a pumpkin patch out here, stage the garden for a pumpkin patch," Delilah said. "Get people to come out of their homes and walk from their house to the garden. Since it is in walking distance for a lot of people in the neighborhood."
The garden is open to everyone who lives in Pear Orchard, but Delilah and Earnest need volunteers to help this garden grow.
"Monday through Friday sometimes 9 in the morning till probably 10 and sometimes we are here from 6 to 8 p.m. right before the sun goes down. We want to motivate the neighborhood to garden," Delilah said.
If anyone is interested in volunteer, you may contact Delilah on Facebook or call her at 409-338-3712.