Take 16,000 vacant lots, no jobs, a food desert of convenience stores filled with potato chips and 40s, and a bunch of damn kids with nowhere to go but trouble street—and what do you get? We’ve all seen it. The bleak city where nothing grows but boredom with a side of despair. But something else is growing through the cracked sidewalks on Buffalo’s west side. Lively green things. Vegetables. And bright-eyed teenaged stewards of the land. The Growing Green Massachusetts Avenue Project is transforming the ghosts of vacant lots into gardens that thrive and wayward kids into wild urban farmers looking to change the face of food.

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