Originally posted on Yes! Magazine
Written by Kevon Paynter
One Saturday morning in November, Xavier Brown was working in the Dix Street community garden in northeast Washington, D.C. The garden is near the Clay Terrace public housing complex in the heart of the city’s Ward 7, home to about 70,000 people, 94 percent of whom are African American.
Brown worked alongside six formerly incarcerated men to build a compost bin big enough to generate 1,200 pounds of rich soil, or what they call “black gold,” out of neighborhood food scraps. The compost is an essential ingredient for growing crops in the 32 garden beds they also made from donated and recycled plywood.