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Local resident sharing bounty of garden labor

Local farmer Tracy Stuba and her assistant Morgan Cresanto are shown with her children, Riley and Enid, who also help out. (Salem News photo by Danielle Garner)

COLUMBIANA –Tracy Stuba of Columbiana started a garden in winter of 2021. The garden is growing strong and she is using her bounty to bless the community around her. When Stuba is not delivering farm fresh produce to restaurants like Homestead and Steamers, she is growing food for herself and others.

“We all need to eat right,” Stuba said. “We need healthy food; I know a lot of people can’t always afford it. It’s important for me to give back to the community,”

The produce is offered at 43512 Columbiana- Waterford Road, past Columbiana High School. The policy is pay only what you can.

Stuba said she learned everything she knows from Farmer John. Stuba said John has taught her how to grow quality produce.

“You just work with Mother Nature –if you work with Mother Nature instead of working against Mother Nature then it just falls into place,” said Stuba.

Her assistant, Morgan Cresanto, said Wednesday was the first time she offered produce based on what strangers could afford.

“We really wanted to start selling fresh produce for as cheap as possible and make sure there’s access for other people that it’s not easily available to,” said Cresanto

“I want everybody to be able to eat healthy food and if you can’t afford healthy food, I don’t want you to have to pay for it,” Stuba said. “Everybody is entitled to healthy food.”

The produce is grown without the use of pesticides and works with the ecosystem. “I keep wildflowers growing around the garden. Everyone will say they are weeds but really, they are wildflowers and they are beneficial to the environment and they are beneficial to the garden,” Stuba said.

Stuba also doesn’t till the soil and uses marigolds to deter harmful insects.

Cresanto and Stuba both believe uncertain times and limited supply chains make it more important to know how to grow clean fresh food.

“I’m young and I feel like this type of food is going to be our future instead of mass produced,” said Cresanto.

Tracy’s children, 10-year-old Riley and 11-year-old Enid, help her and Cresanto in the garden.

“Since my mom knows how to garden a lot, then I should know to help other people,” Riley said.

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