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Donna Berman

READER SUBMITTED: BOTS Pots Offer Free Vegetables

Karen Yamashita is a dedicated gardener. At least once a day she walks over to Hartford's Center Church at 60 Gold St. and sings to the vegetables in the two large pots she is tending on the grounds of the historic church.

"My plants are strong and healthy," says Yamashita, who is one of the gardeners from the homeless community who is part of the BOTS Pots program, run by Charter Oak Cultural Center.

The fresh vegetables are free for the taking for those in need. The program began in 2012 when a summer intern suggested the idea to Rabbi Donna Berman, executive director of Charter Oak. BOTS stands for Beat of the Street, a monthly newspaper, written, edited and...