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NORTH ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – Buying locally grown food is all the rage these days.  But how about growing your own fresh fruits and vegetables in a community garden in North Saint Louis?

One woman has been doing it for years and as FOX2’s Elliot Weiler shows us her dedication to her neighborhood is earning her our Pay It Forward.

“She got involved saying, what can I do? I want to start a garden.”
“She” is Rosie Willis and that small garden planted three years ago grew into this: the fresh start community garden at the corner of Dayton and Glasgow in North Saint Louis.

“She loves it.  She’s there from early morning to evening, planting different seeds, learning about different seeds, she just loves it.”

And while the garden looks great, with rows of fresh fruits and vegetables, it could use some new equipment, which is why Toni nominated Rosie for our Pay It Forward award knowing Rosie would plant the money right back into the garden.

“All right Toni, thank you for the nomination. If you hold out your hand I`ll count out one, two, three, four, five hundred dollars.  Pay it Forward.   Thank you so much, she will really appreciate this.”

Rosie is always tending to the garden, so it’s no surprise that we find her there, though she is very surprised to see us.

“On behalf of Fox Channel 2 and Home Equity Mortgage I`d like to Pay It Forward to you.  My goodness.  I have five hundred dollars for you.  Is she for real?  She is for real.  Are you for real?  Whoa.  Wait a minute I gotta look cute!  One, two, three for five hundred dollars.  Oh my goodness!”

Rosie is quite a character and she’s also a tireless advocate for the garden and her community.

“We offer anyone who comes into this garden the opportunity to learn, to start eating healthy, to help your pocketbook, all of those things.”

All of those things and a lot more, thanks to Rosie Willis.

“If there`s someone in your life or your neighborhood that`s giving an area a fresh start, we`d like to know about it.  Nominate them for our Pay It Forward award.  You can find all the information online at  In North St. Louis, Elliot Weiler, FOX 2 News.”