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Miami students continue to expand

Roots in the City Overtown project is now offering a Farmer's Market from 1-4 every Wednesday.

Just northwest of downtown, Overtown is the Harlem of Miami. Popular with blacks and whites alike, Overtown was a center for nightly entertainment in Miami, comparable to Miami Beach, at its height in the 1940s and 1950s. The area served as a place of rest and refuge for African American mainstream entertainers such as Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Joephine Baker, Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole who were not allowed to lodge at prominent venues where they performed. Many prominent African American luminaries like W.E.B. Du Bois, Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson lodged and entertained there.

In the late 1950's and 60's, two freeways through its middle fragmented the neighborhood, urban renewal caused businesses to close and the neighborhood was economically devastated from nearly 50,000 to just over 10,000.

PDC student Maggy Pons is working on six gardens in Overtown which will provide fresh, organic food and economic stimulus to the neighborhood. Food stamp purchases are doubled at the market, encouraging consumption of healthy, organic food and the support of locally grown food. Because of what she learned in the course, she has now created the beginnings of a mandala garden and keyhole beds and is using sheet mulching techniques and rainbarrels – she is also contemplating planting a food forest.