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Bossier City physician develops community garden

Ted Warren.JPG
Kate Archer Kent

A Bossier City physician purchased an empty lot in his Shreveport neighborhood and is turning it into a community garden. Dr. Ted Warren commissioned award-winning designer and gardening expert P. Allen Smith of Arkansas to transform nearly one acre into a garden patch and orchard. The garden is partly a quest to live healthier. Warren shed 100 pounds over the past two years, and he wants to help his patients make wiser food choices.

“As a physician, it just dismays me that Louisiana is the 49th most unhealthy state in the nation right behind Mississippi," Warren said. "We’re not stupid people. We’re smart people, but we just don’t eat right.”

Warren began gardening as a young boy. He didn’t have a choice. His grandfather assigned him chores in the family garden. By week’s end, Warren recalled, he was so tired that he didn’t care to go out on Saturday night. He wants his neighbors to take ownership of this garden and share in the harvest.

"People can stop on the way home at night and get something healthy to eat, instead of processed food," Warren said. "We already have a really good community garden network in town. This will just be part of it.”

Smith hosts two public television shows about gardening and design. He is set to speak Saturday, March 9, at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum. That’s also when Smith will reveal the design of Dittle’s Fairfield Community Garden. Warren said his grandfather nicknamed him Dittle, which is how this garden got its name. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the museum.