BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Brownsville Wellness Coalition is well known for its weekly farmers market at Linear Park in Brownsville, but also provides opportunities for residents to learn how to plant and grow organic produce.
“Brownsville Wellness Coalition is a non-profit that supports health and wellness programs such as community gardens, urban farms, and our most famous program, which is the Brownsville Farmers Market,” said executive director, Vero Dimas Rosenbaum.
She said the organization has been around since 2008 and they are still seeing growth.
“We’ve been planting that seed since then, we’ve now been seeing some beautiful harvest from a long time,” said Dimas Rosenbaum.
She explained that the organization has been working with partners including the city of Brownsville, UT School of Public Health, United Way, and other local foundations.
In addition to those partners, the Housing Authority City of Brownsville (HACB) is a long-time partner of the Brownsville Wellness Coalition, according to Dimas Rosenbaum.
She said the HACB collaborated with the coalition on a new community garden located at the Poinsettia Garden Apartments.
“They expressed that they wanted a community garden so we’re working together to give them the education, resources, and the guidance of the community garden,” said Dimas Rosenbaum.
The Brownsville Wellness Coalition has five other community gardens throughout the city, each providing opportunities for people to learn how to grow organic produce and other items.
“We also focus on growing plants, herbs, vegetables, fruit trees, a lot of native plants also that we grow here in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Brownsville Wellness Coalition’s garden coordinator, David Andrew Vasquez.
He said educating the community is his passion and explained how community gardens provide more benefits than just healthy food.
“The growth personal wise, health-wise, mentally, physically, you just see how people turn into the enlightenment. It creates a really awesome community,” said Vasquez.
Vasquez explained that he was born and raised in Brownsville and has seen a difference in his own community.
“I’ve seen the transformation of how Brownsville is becoming, more community-based, more oriented,” he said.
There are many plans for growth with the Brownsville Wellness Coalition, according to the executive director and that includes an indoor-outdoor farmers market, the Cannery Public Market, scheduled to open next year.
“The Brownsville Wellness Coalition has a 16-foot trailer called the fresco mobile market, which is essentially a food truck that travels throughout the city,” said Dimas Rosenbaum.
The mobile markets carry products grown at community gardens and urban markets and will accept WIC and Snap vouchers for payment, according to Dimas Rosenbaum.
She said as a non-profit organization, they are always open to volunteers and donations.
For more information on the Brownsville Wellness Coalition, you can visit their website.