SAN ANTONIO – What do you get if you mix Tito’s vodka with fresh community garden produce? Probably a fun mixed drink, but when Tito’s philanthropic arm, “Love Tito’s,” started a community garden of their own, they ended up with a passion project that now reaches 28 cities, including San Antonio.
”We saw the success of the farm that we built by our distillery and its increasing access to fresh and healthy foods for our employees, and we’re like, how can we bring this to other communities?” Lindsey Bates, Communications Love Tito’s said. “How can we help serve other communities? So in 2019, we started our love Tito’s block to block program.”
This year, Love Tito’s partnered with local non-profit Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas to renovate and help out ten community gardens across our city. Here are a few of the Bexar County community gardens supported:
- Alamo Heights Community Garden
- Cielo Community Garden
- Collins Community Garden
- El Dorado Community Garden
- Garcia Street Urban Farm
- High Country Community Garden
- Lakeview Community Garden
- Terrell Heights Community Garden
“Having that partnership with Tito’s crop up and having that relationship develop to this point where we can go out into the community and do so much tangible good for our neighbors is just so exciting,” Grace Carlin, Green Spaces Alliance of South TX, Urban Land & Water Program Manager said.
Projects stem from new garden boxes to irrigation systems and utilize lots of volunteer man power.
For example, Cielo Community Garden saw over seven new garden spaces. It may not look like a lot, but it actually was a lot of work, that took several weeks of time and over 60 volunteers and a lot of soil.
Cielo Community Garden was made for refugees who have resettled in San Antonio to help them provide food for families and stay connected to the land.
”The people who have been resettled here in San Antonio as refugees, typically they’re the ones who have been attached to the land from their home for generations,” Jennifer Yanez Alaniz, Cielo Garden steward said.
The CEO of Green Spaces Alliance says these projects are crucial not just for building up our community gardens, but providing a sense of community.
”It’s a connection to the land,” Douglas Dillow said. “It’s getting people back in touch with natural processes, the environment.”
Dillow said it’s the environment that is so important to bring awareness, to remind people our food doesn’t come from stores but from the land and lots of hard work.
“Part of this is helping to people understand that the resources we have, we have to take care of and we have to be as careful as we can to use them efficiently,” Dillow said.