Thursday, July 18, 2013

Smooth, Organic Gardening

I love this photo because of the faces of the kids as they watch a leafy green being added to their smoothie....
Expected rain that never arrived pushed a planned work/play day at the Chestnut Street Community Garden
back by one day, but it didn't pus out the fun.

The Mosaic Community Land Trust, which owns and operates the garden (with a second one on the way at 615 Chestnut St.) recently posted some photos from two of the activities from the day, held Sunday, July 14.

First up are some photos of smoothies made for the kids from some of the things grown in the garden.

There are more on the web site, but I've picked my favorites.

For those who don't know, the garden is located at at 423 Chestnut St.

Yup, there's something leafy and 

green in that thar smoothie.
Once a dilapidated playground of dubious safety, it is now home to 30 garden plots growing everything from Swiss chard, to lettuce, carrots, brussel sprouts and tomatoes, lots and lots of tomatoes.

In addition to growing their own food, the families and organizations that tend to the plots there are invited to participate in activities there, most of which focus on the garden, growing and healthy food.

Several members, for example, have submitted recipes for using the things grown there.

They include: pineapple salsa, summer tomato sauce and grilled tomatoes.

For the adults at the work/play day, there was what was described as a lively discussion regarding the benefits of organic gardening.

The group then took some old clothes and recycled them into use as plant holders.

The land trust hopes the success of the first community garden will help spur interest in the second. In the long run, the land trust hopes to open five community gardens in five years, “and we’re open to suggestions for new sites from people in the community,” according to board president David Jackson.

The land trust is also looking at trying to establish a more ambitious “urban agriculture” program, and possible an orchard.

“That could generate some local economic activity and possibly, some jobs,” said Jackson.

“We’d like to get to the point where we could supply a store and local restaurants,” he said, noting that one garden plot is operated by Grumpy’s Restaurant on High Street, which uses the food it grows in the food it serves.

The current garden, and the new one, are made possible by two $30,000 grants from the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, as well as donations from National Penn Bank and other private donors, Jackson said.

“We focus on nutrition and eating healthy, and growing health foods,” Washington said of the garden’s philosophy, not to mention the exercise which comes with tending to a garden.

“We supply the tools, we supply the seeds, we supply the water and the mulch, all they have to do is show up and do the gardening,” Washington said.

The only cost is a $25 per year annual membership fee.

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