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Category — Community Gardens

Chicago church padlocks community gardens in Woodlawn, leaving gardeners wondering why

A flag blows in the wind in the 65th & Woodlawn Community Garden on April 12, 2018, in Chicago. Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune

The padlocked gardens have prompted some to sneak in to ready the plots for planting.

By William Lee
Chicago Tribune
Apr 13, 2018

Excerpt:

Rooting her fingers through the soil at a popular community garden in the Woodlawn neighborhood transports Gloria Mance back to her childhood on a Southern farm.

Back then, struggling relatives and neighbors bonded through shared purpose and the need to feed their families.

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April 20, 2018   No Comments

UK: Prisoners restore broken garden tools to give away to schools and community groups

Launching the Tools Shed Norfolk at Mayton Wood recycling centre are, from left, Janice Coglin-Hibbert, Norfolk County Council waste reduction officer, Martin Edwards, head of reducing reoffending at HMP Norwich and Jack Narbed, Tools Shed project manager at The Conservation Foundation. Picture: Matthew Usher

Prisoners will be using new-found technical skills to restore gardeners’ broken and unwanted tools to give away to schools and community groups as part of an innovative rehabilitation project.

By Andrew Papworth
Diss Mercury
Apr 7, 2018

Excerpt:

“Participating in the scheme boosts their skills and confidence, as well as teaching practical skills which can be used when they leave prison.”

Janice Coglin-Hibbert, Norfolk County Council waste reduction officer, said: “So many of us have tools in our garden sheds that take up space but have outlived their usefulness and we’d encourage gardeners to bring these to our recycling centres at Mayton Wood and Ketteringham.

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April 13, 2018   No Comments

Guerrilla Gardening in New York City

In the 1960s, Jenny Benitez looked at an abandoned lot in Harlem and saw a space she could transform into a garden. Credit Elias Williams for The New York Times

Gardening season kicked off this week in our city’s 553 community gardens, marking the 40th anniversary of the parks department’s GreenThumb program.

By Jonathan Wolfe
New York Times
Apr. 4, 2018

Excerpt:

But before community gardens were sanctioned by the city, rundown lots were repurposed to grow flowers and vegetables by guerrilla gardeners like Jenny Benitez.

“I wanted a place for my boys to play,” said Ms. Benitez, an 85-year-old resident of Harlem. “I imagined a place with white roses and hydrangeas and everything in bloom, where people would come and enjoy nature.”

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April 11, 2018   No Comments

Will city Land Bank save North Philly nuns’ community garden?

Gary Robbins with Sister Sylvia Strahler, center and Sister Margaret McKenna pose in the New Jerusalem Laura recovery Center Garden on Norris Street in North Philadelphia. Steven M. Falk.

Hundreds of recovering users such as Robbins have gone through New Jerusalem’s program since then, and all have tended to the garden as part of a required two hours of daily community service

By Claudia Vargas
The Inquirer
Apr 2, 2018

Excerpt:

While Sister McKenna worked, she started shoveling dirt and gardening on a vacant side lot and invited neighborhood children to help.

Every time a vacant house fell nearby, the sisters and the residents of New Jerusalem would clean up the debris, get fresh soil from the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, and create a garden or simply keep the lot clean and put a walkway through it.

Over the years, the sisters were able to obtain the deeds to some of those properties. But many of the lots they consider part of their garden remain in city or private ownership, leaving them vulnerable to sheriff’s sale.

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April 8, 2018   No Comments

Volunteers gather to build community garden in Colorado Springs

Volunteers with the Pikes Peak Urban Gardens are spending the rest of their Spring Break building plots to help people grow their own food.

Written By Rachael Wardwell
KOAA News
Posted: Mar 31, 2018

Excerpt:

One of the volunteers explained the importance of knowing where your food comes from.

“It’s totally important, that’s why we’re spending our Spring Break doing it, I have all six of my kids out here so they can understand where their food comes from and how important it is that we take nutrition responsibly and we take care of our needs,” said Melissa Olson, a volunteer.

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April 8, 2018   No Comments

Canada: “We no longer own a shovel” – Langley, BC, community garden ravaged by thieves

Gardening tools, copper wiring and entire trees are just some of the things that have been stolen from the site, according to Smith, who estimates that they have lost $15,000 worth of equipment to theft.

By Tiffany Goodwein
CTV Vancouver
March 29, 2018

Excerpt:

A popular community garden in Langley is forced to close its doors for the season because of rampant theft.

“We were getting things stolen every single day in January and February,” said Amanda Smith of the Maples Discovery Gardens Community Co-op.

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April 5, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: “We no longer own a shovel” – Langley, BC, community garden ravaged by thieves

Chicago residents worry they’ll face food desert if community garden closes

The garden is home to 200 plots that yield enough organic produce for 300 homes

By Andrea Darlas,
Wgn9
March 27, 2018

Excerpt:

A group of Woodlawn gardeners say their South Side community could become a food desert if a popular community garden closes.

The garden near 65th Street and Woodlawn Avenue is home to 200 plots that yield enough organic produce for 300 homes, WGN’s Andrea Darlas reports. An estimated two tons of food is donated to local food pantries.

First Presbyterian Church, which owns the land, recently told gardeners the plots could soon close.

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April 4, 2018   Comments Off on Chicago residents worry they’ll face food desert if community garden closes

Guns to shovels: Oakland activists melt deadly weapons into garden tools

50 guns melted and cast into 50 shovels, to plant 50 trees

By Lisa M. Krieger
The Mercury News
Mar 28, 2018

OAKLAND, Calif. — A small arsenal of deadly Bay Area weapons is on its way to Atlanta, soon to be transformed from tools of violence to tools of peace, healing and hope.

The “Lead To Life” project — 50 guns melted and cast into 50 shovels, to plant 50 trees — will commemorate the 50 years since a bullet struck down civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. as he stood on the balcony of Room 306 at Lorraine Motel in Memphis, changing America forever.

Organized by two young Oakland activists and hosted by The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, the April 6 ceremony will not just mourn the loss of King but also other lives claimed by mass shootings, suicides, gang warfare and domestic violence.

It’s a modern-day spin on the biblical injunction to turn swords into plowshares. Using new shovels, victims of gun violence will help plant young trees at the King Center in Atlanta and selected murder sites in the city. Then the tools will be donated to urban gardeners to grow food for inner-city residents.

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April 3, 2018   Comments Off on Guns to shovels: Oakland activists melt deadly weapons into garden tools

The Pumpkin-Easies and Magic Memories: An Allotment Garden Story

The author’s husband is an enthusiastic fruit and vegetable grower. They have had allotments – land traditionally rented or leased from local government – for almost 40 years

By M.J. Anderson
AuthorHouseUK
December 27, 2017

Excerpt:

A great pumpkin grew on our allotment. It was grown for our grandchildren to take to school at Halloween. It was unwanted and it ended up back in the compost bin. But many creatures living on the allotment did want it, especially the Easies.

This is a story of ancient creatures–the Easies–who try to live away from people. They are talented and determined and they have evolved special powers. Nowadays they are very fast, small, and chameleon-like as they can change shape and colour. They can also communicate telepathically.

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March 30, 2018   Comments Off on The Pumpkin-Easies and Magic Memories: An Allotment Garden Story

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Announces Final GRO1000 Community Garden Grant Recipients

Upton Community Garden, Baltimore, Maryland. Gardens received between $500-$1500.

Conclude in May 2018 Having Supported the Creation of 1,000 Gardens

Press Release
Mar 20, 2018

Excerpt:

“For the past eight years, we’ve seen firsthand how gardening can positively transform communities, and even more so, people’s lives,” said Foundation President and Board Member Jim King, who also serves as SVP and Chief Communications Officer for ScottsMiracle-Gro. “It’s been our honor to connect more people to the life-enhancing benefits of gardens, and we are committed to continuing this work for years to come.”

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March 30, 2018   Comments Off on The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Announces Final GRO1000 Community Garden Grant Recipients

Canada: A Garden On Every Corner

Broadway and MacDonald.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, one social enterprise looks to make the most of unused urban space by converting empty lots into temporary community gardens.

By Chris Reid
Vancouver Community Garden Builders
Mar 27, 2018

There used to be a gas station at the corner of Cambie and 16th Avenue in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Today the site hosts 100 raised garden beds and provides growing space for roughly the same number of gardeners, many of whom are families living in nearby apartments and condominiums.

The project is the result of a partnership between Wesgroup, a local developer, and Vancouver Community Garden Builders, a local social enterprise. Together the pair opened six new gardens in 2017, which equals 600 new garden beds. In total, VCGB manages eight projects with close to 800 beds, or 16,000 square feet of urban growing space.

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March 28, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: A Garden On Every Corner

Slovakia: Community Garden Sets ‘Good Practice’ example

Community Garden Ružinov, Bratislava, Slovakia

Interreg Danube
12-03-2018

Excerpt:

The community garden Ružinov was built at the beginning of this year on the neglected place in the city of Bratislava in Slovakia which was used as a volleyball court of primary school in the past. Currently, this land is rented for free by the primary school to reclaim it by the nongovernmental organization (NGO). Nowadays there are 66 cultivation boxes. People including vulnerable groups (pensioners, single mothers) living in the neighborhood are the users of plots in the community garden.

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March 17, 2018   Comments Off on Slovakia: Community Garden Sets ‘Good Practice’ example

Scotland: The New Craze For ‘Front’ Garden Allotments


‘Eat Your Front Garden’ author, Mat Coward, has been writing a monthly column on organic gardening for the Morning Star newspaper since 1993. Mat started gardening seriously in the late 1980s, when he rented his first allotment.

With growing space at a premium – especially in cities – and waiting lists of nearly ten years for allotments in Glasgow and Edinburgh, there is a growing trend to turn front gardens into “quirky and fun” allotments allowing keen gardeners to grow edible plants that look good and feed the family.

By Karin Goodwin
The Herald
Mar 10, 2018

Excerpt:

There is, however, a worry that turning your front garden into an allotment might upset neighbours and make growers the talk of the street if a potato patch suddenly appeared where a lawn once was. However, Coward said: “My book puts forward the idea of the ‘Invisible Allotment’.” He has collected a list of more than 30 plants which can be grown for food which don’t look like crops, including Caucasian spinach and bamboo. “Sometimes they are edibles in their countries of origin which we’ve adopted as ornamentals, some of them are traditionally used as edibles, but you wouldn’t know it by looking. My main criterion is that these are plants you can grow openly out front without anyone raising an eyebrow.”

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March 16, 2018   Comments Off on Scotland: The New Craze For ‘Front’ Garden Allotments

Illinois state fairgrounds community garden to open in March

100 are designated for organic gardening, and the remaining 100 plots are assigned for non-organic gardeners

The Illinois Department of Agriculture
March 2018

Excerpt:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.– The Illinois Department of Agriculture is actively seeking individuals or families who are interested in starting their own gardens and learning more about the local foods movement.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Community Garden is located on the infield of the Illinois State Fair Grandstand race track and features 200 garden plots. Of those plots, 100 are designated for organic gardening, and the remaining 100 plots are assigned for non-organic gardeners.

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March 5, 2018   Comments Off on Illinois state fairgrounds community garden to open in March

Newest San Francisco community garden brings a welcome splash of greenery

Maria Uchi fills her plot at the Geneva Community Garden in Ingleside with edibles, including a calamansi citrus tree, with her sister-in-law Belen Uchi (right). Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

“This is going to be the hottest park corridor in the city pretty soon,” Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the Recreation and Park Department, told the crowd.

By Jenna Lyons
SFGate
February 24, 2018

Excerpt:

The garden just opened, but already about 30 people are on the waiting list, said Mei Ling Hui, the city’s community garden program manager. People are allowed to plant “pretty much everything,” with the exception of cannabis and plants that grow so tall they might unintentionally shade the others.

Steve Wasserman, a resident of the Forest Hill neighborhood, managed to get one of the 60 plots before they filled up. He said he plans to grow some tomatoes, carrots, onions, beets and shishito peppers.

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March 3, 2018   Comments Off on Newest San Francisco community garden brings a welcome splash of greenery