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Brass City Harvest brings fresh food to an urban 'desert'

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Cathryn J. Prince

(Read caption) Brass City Harvest in Waterbury, Conn., operates an urban garden. And in November it will add a year-round farmers market supplied by nearby Connecticut farms, says Susan Pronovost, executive director of Brass City Harvest.

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In a bricked up, boarded up part of Waterbury, Conn., where the main crop seem to be shattered glass, Brass City Harvest stands as an oasis.

Pots of colorful flowers line the steps to Brass City’s office, which is actually no more than an iPad on a conference table. Just behind the table two large pools await the arrival of trout. Outside stand raised-bed gardens. Some are filled with Asian eggplants, others with tomatoes hanging like Christmas ornaments from the vine.

Nonprofit Brass City Harvest operates the "Connecticut Grown" farmers markets in Waterbury, providing what its executive director, Susan Pronovost, calls “real food” for hungry people. And next month Brass City Harvest will open a year-round farmers market, selling produce and goods produced by about eight Connecticut farms.

IN PICTURES: Urban gardens

Chase Manhattan Bank once occupied the 3,000-square-foot space where the farmers market will stand. Grants from the University of Connecticut and  Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit group dedicated to make fresh food more available, helped make the market possible.

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