La Huerta del Valle has become an ally for the pocket and health of families in Ontario.

Three years ago Lucia Ceja began to look for better food options for her two children because they suffered many allergies. She learned that the only way to reduce her allergies was to change her diet for organic food.

So he began to inform himself until he heard about the Huerta del Valle garden.

"Since my children started eating organic products, they no longer have allergies or ear infections," said Ceja.

In the community garden, located in the city of Ontario, Ceja learned about how to grow her food and thus be able to feed her family in a healthy way and without spending a lot of money.

“I grew everything we were given in season like broccoli, cauliflower, beet. Everything of the season was already knowing him, ”said Ceja who now works for an agriculture program in Huerta del Valle.

She is just one of endless stories of people who have benefited from affordable organic foods.

María Alonso, founder and executive director of Huerta del Valle, said the main objective of the garden is for the entire community to have access to healthy food at an affordable price.

“For me the inspiration was my son, who at 10 years old had been diagnosed with the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) disease, in 2010,” Alonso said.

The worried mother found out that organic food could be of great benefit to her son. However, the nearest organic food supermarket was eight miles away, and with Alonso and her husband earning the minimum wage, they were unable to access those foods.

The Ontario community garden serves about 55 families including people with disabilities. (Supplied)

Through community information and with university students, Alonso began his own organic fruit and vegetable project. In 2013 they managed to get a space of four and a half acres of the city of Ontario to open the first community garden.

"There we create the spaces of 10 feet by 20 feet and we charge them a total of $ 30 a year, so that people can have access to water, seeds, fertile land and advice," Alonso said.

She said that the 55 families that serve in the Ontario community garden are very grateful for the great support they have received, not only for healthy eating, but for receiving adequate information.

She also managed to see the benefit of eating healthy. His son, who is now 19, began to have an immediate change.

“I used to sleep much less. At 4 or 5 in the morning he went to sleep, but when changing the food for organic, he began to sleep at 11 at night or 12, ”said Alonso. "The doctor from the beginning told me,‘ if you don't want pills change your diet. "

The children of Lucia Ceja, Freddy and Paulina Ceja have learned to grow their own food. (Supplied)

A project that grows

Alonso said that over time they have managed to secure seven spaces, six in Riverside County and in December they opened one in San Bernardino with the support of entities such as Kaiser Permanente. The long-term goal is for a community garden to exist in every mile of the region. They hope to be able to provide nutritious, fresh, local and sustainably produced food and only through agriculture.

"For example, Kaiser challenges me to get him 25 families and I give him 60," Alonso said, showing that people are interested in improving their health if it is at an affordable price.

The community gardens are open to the public and their organic fruits and vegetables are also for sale at low cost.

To learn more about the Huerta del Valle garden and its allies visit:


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