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Local Residents Grow Their Own Produce To Avoid The High Cost Of Food

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CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – In the past month, food prices are up more than they have been in the past 36 years. With the warmer temperatures expected to start moving into the region, one community is planning on taking the opportunity to grow their own produce.

Vegetables. They are eating away at us more than we’re eating them, why? In February, Florida’s growing season temperatures were down over five degrees from average, United States food prices shot up 3.9% and vegetable prices are up a whopping 50%.

At Giordano’s in South Philadelphia, the squeeze is on and not just at the tomato stand.

“It turns me into a produce salesman slash psychiatrist,” said Gene Giordano, owner of Giordano’s Market. “Customers are very upset.”

The prices mostly reflect bad southern weather, but the sun will be out tomorrow and warmer temperatures are expected as Spring rolls around for some of the most unlikely farm land in America, Camden.

Bulldozers were out Wednesday afternoon to clear an abandoned lot filled with decades worth of urban decay.

“Camden is one heck of a place to live,” said Chris Lindsey, an urban gardener. “It’s a bread basket.”

Lindsey should know, he grows food and saves money in these refurbished lots with the Camden Garden Club.

“For every hundred dollars a home gardener spends on materials, they get a thousand dollars worth of food,” said Michael Devlin of the Camden Children’s Garden.

The prep work is still underway, but soon, twelve Camden families will be able to grow vegetables and self sufficiency.

The Camden city residents who will be the actual gardeners at the lot will be advised by the Camden Garden Club and Children’s Garden Americore volunteers who helped clear the land.

Camden has one of the fastest growing community gardens in the country with 91.

Reported by Carol Erickson, CBS 3

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