CLEVELAND -- More than a dozen teenage boys are helping grow fresh fruits and vegetables for Cleveland Neighborhoods.
The Garden Boyz Community Garden is located on Cedar near East 77th Street in Cleveland's Central Neighborhood.
Once a vacant lot, it is now full of potential.
The boys are from the Arbor Park Village Community and work alongside adult volunteers planting food.
"We have lots of cucumbers. We have some sugar snap peas. We have green beans at the far end. We are just starting a berry patch too," says Sharon Glaspie, Building Healthy Communities director.
She started this near-acre garden last year and there is a second garden a few miles away.
FreshLink is the core research project for the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods at Case Western Reserve University. It links this and similar community gardens with people who need fresh foods by promoting the gardens.
Glaspie hopes to change people's eating habits, which can be a challenge, but she says it is in an effort to reduce the chronic diseases many in the Central Neighborhood have -- including cancer.
"So many people are so used to canned and frozen vegetables, so we use this as an opportunity to educate them on the advantages, pairing fresh fruit," says Glaspie.
Another way this garden is having an impact is with the boys. They get paid for working here and they are learning life lessons while being exposed to foods they've never seen before.
"It is a fun thing to do and it keeps you out of the streets, and I now like beets. I never had them before," says Dario Ingram, one of the teenage gardeners.