NODA Urban Farmer Finds Solution to Spring Allergies -

NODA Urban Farmer Finds Solution to Spring Allergies

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Charlotte, N.C. (WJZY) -- Spring weather is in the air, and that brings a variety of pollens.

Eyes itch, noses run, and heads ache.A NODA resident has found a solution for the seasonal symptoms: urban farming.

His name is Scott Linwell. He moved to NODA a year ago with his partner Joey Hewell.

Scott says his partner suffered with severe allergies. He would have flu like symptoms every spring.

About six years ago, Scott says his partner stopped having those symptoms. He’s not on allergy medicine. His cure: fruits and vegetables grown in their back yard.

Much like eating local honey helps inoculate pollen allergies because it comes from bees that collect local pollen, eating local fruits and vegetables helps reduce symptoms. If anything, it can be more effective. After all, it’s much easier to eat a large fresh salad with vegetables from your back yard than consume a lot of honey.

Scott farms about 70 different kinds of fruits and vegetables in his back yard. That includes everything from kale and collards to raspberries and apples. He does this with several raised beds, pots and a greenhouse.

Scott got into farming when he was young. His two sets of grandparents grew their own food. He would help turn the soil and eat meals from what they had farmed. Ever since, Scott’s urban farm has grown in size and variety.

He is not, however, the first to bring urban farming to NODA. The area has a long history of self-sufficient farmers.

NODA: A Farming Tradition

Scott recently wrote a blog about the area’s farming history. He says Johnston, Mecklenburg and Highland Mills established the NODA area as a mill village. The mills gave workers a place to live, including long plots to farm their own food.

Trading goods was a daily activity back then. Now, it’s returning.

Trading with the Community

Smelly Cat Coffee House is the caffeine hangout in NODA. It’s been around for 13 years.

The owner, Cathy Tuman, says the coffee shop offers its used coffee grounds to farmers and gardeners in the area. They put it in bags out back for people to pick up. Coffee grounds are a high nitrogen product that feeds the garden.

Scott uses the grounds for his garden. He plans to give back to the coffee house by helping them build and maintain a healthy compost bin.

Scott also trades with the local sushi restaurant. He read that fish heads help provide calcium to tomato plants. That extra nutrient helps produce a tastier fruit.

Scott asked if the sushi restaurant owner would give him some fish heads for his garden. The next time Scott and his partner ate dinner there, the owner came out with two big bags of fish heads.

Scott says he will share some of his peppers with the restaurant once they come out this summer.

Urban Farming: Getting Started

Urban farming has been growing all over Charlotte. Each farm serves the community where it’s located.

    -Linwell Farms: NoDa and Plaza Midwood

    -Sow Much Good Farm: West Side

    -North End Opportunity Farm: Uptown

    -Harmony Gardens: Starmount Neighborhood

If you’re interested in starting your own urban garden, Scott says you need four things:

    -Plenty of sun




He says you can spend as much time as you want in the garden, but you only need 2-3 hours a week to maintain a simple urban garden. There is also a site on Facebook for garden sharing.

Scott says he spends 10-15 hours a week in his garden because he enjoys it so much.

He says urban farming is all about being healthy, knowing where your food comes from, and getting all the flavor you can out of your food. What you get in the grocery store doesn’t even come close.

If you have an urban farm and would like for us to highlight it, email, Tweet, or Facebook.

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