Prosperity Gardens planting

C-U@Work crew members Alexander Island, left, and Duane Carey clear a bed to plant green beans Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at the Prosperity Gardens in downtown Champaign. Program director Nicole Musumeci said she hopes to have fresh produce ready to give away in late July or early August. Story, B-4. For more photos, follow us @news_gazette on Instagram.

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CHAMPAIGN — Vegetables are growing once again in the Prosperity Gardens on the northeastern edge of downtown Champaign.

The gardens, which were not planted last year while the urban farming venture was in transition, are on their way this year to turning out potatoes, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and other produce to be given away to those in need.

City of Champaign Township took over operation of Prosperity Gardens last fall and hired former Executive Director Nicole Musumeci as program director.

Musumeci is working the gardens this summer with help from participants in the CU@Work program, a partnership between the township and C-U at Home that offers employment to the homeless.

Musumeci said she started readying the gardens herself in spring and is now getting help from four to six men participating in CU@Work.

She said she hopes to have fresh produce ready to give away in late July or early August.

Some of the food will likely be distributed through Carle’s mobile health outreach, Musumeci said.

She also hopes to get some produce distributed to Promise Healthcare clients, she said.

Prosperity Gardens was launched in 2010 with a focus on providing hands-on gardening education to youth.