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Planting Good Ideas In New York, N.Y.

Discovering the natural world at Harlem Grown.
Courtesy of Harlem Grown
Discovering the natural world at Harlem Grown.

This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.

Volunteer Darryl Burnette, 40, knew he was part of something worthwhile when he saw the eyes of city children widen at the discovery: Corn does not come from a can originally; it grows on stalks.

Burnette, a professional chef, lives in Harlem and spends about 10 hours a week at Harlem Grown — a nonprofit that promotes urban gardening and good nutrition among school kids — tending plants and helping develop healthy-eating programs.

"It's harder to reach some of the older folks," he says. "It's best to start with the children because you help them build good habits."

Teresa Tomassoni was the 2011 recipient of The NPR/Washington Post Stone & Holt Weeks Fellowship.

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Teresa Tomassoni