Urban gardens can be adventurous affairs, not unlike archeological digs in terms of how they turn up trash and pieces of the past just beneath the surface of the soil. If this isn't your thing, there's always raised beds. But they take time, labor and materials to build.
Thanks to a recently unveiled partnership, 150 families in the Buckeye, Larchmere and Woodland Hills neighborhoods will receive GardenSoxx
, which are mesh sleeves stuffed with organic soil that can be used on any surface. This above-ground system, which is considered ideal for urban gardening, can easily be planted with seeds. The partnership will ensure that families receive the proper training and education on how to grow a thriving garden in an urban setting.
“GardenSoxx gardens are low maintenance and are installed in a matter of minutes, which make it a great way for our neighbors to learn how to garden and give them access to fresh food,” Vedette Gavin said in a news release. Gavin is a Community Health Fellow with the Saint Luke's Foundation who is helping to lead the Healthy Eating, Active Living
initiative in the area. “We expect these 150 gardens to provide 1,000 pounds of food for families this year.”
Tools and hands-on support will be provided in order to teach families how to garden, including compost bins, rain barrels, watering cans, freezing kits and workshops from community partners like the Cleveland Botanical Garden
Leaders of the initiative have even created a "Green Line" -- a hotline that allows families to call experienced gardeners with questions. Families can water their gardens affordably using rain barrels, and compost bins will be provided to create new soil. Volunteers on the project will also receive one free Gardensoxx sleeve.
"Gardening was really lost for a generation," says Gavin. "Now we have families that moved up here after Katrina talking to local families. We're creating connections in the community, and people are sharing advice."
The backyard garden initiative has been made possible by support from Saint Luke’s Foundation
, Neighborhood Progress Inc., Third Federal Savings and Loan, Neo Restoration Alliance, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Healthy Eating & Active Living, Cleveland Food Bank and Benedictine High School.
Source: Vedette Gavin
Writer: Lee Chilcote