Volunteers come together to repair vandalized Frayser community garden

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Kelsey Hoffman says the Frayser Youth Farm is blooming with many thanks to the hands of Girls Inc. Memphis.

The young women in the year-long program are there to make a difference.

"They plant, harvest, sell at the downtown market, they set our prices [and] they volunteer at other hunger relief organizations," she said.

While they learn entrepreneurship and business skills, they were also recently taught the upsetting lesson of crime when vandals destroyed their hard work at the greenhouse.

Hoffman said the girls had just planted over 3,000 plants before someone came in and tore it apart during spring break.

"With really no evidence of who had done it or what had happened," she said.

Hoffman said it’s the first time they’ve seen something like that happen in the community garden's three years of being there.

"We want this to be an open space for the community, so that’s why we have no fences."

Although lack of security may have lured in vandals, it also welcomes neighbors.

Since the beginning of January this year, garden managers say 400 to 500 people have come out to help and after that incident, the support didn’t stop.

Several city organizations and kids who live nearby spent their spring break cleaning up the damage and planting new seeds.

"I’ve never in my life seen something bad turn into something so good," said Miles Tamboli, the Youth Farm manager of operations.

He told WREG it shows the true nature of the people in Frayser and said now their farm is doing better than ever.

"The greenhouse is bursting at the seams with new plants now," he said. "We’ve pretty much tripled what we had in there."

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