Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Has it really been a year since the Jewell Pryor leadership class of 2013 completed their work at the Paseo West Community Garden? We miss all of those young, energetic faces terribly.  But change happens--and with change comes new growth.  The major garden projects were completed by fall, the raised beds were put to rest with a layer of horse manure and we hunkered down for the winter.  By the time the frost cleared this spring (or by the time it was supposed to!) we had formed our inaugural garden group to kick off the new gardening season. We planned all of our planting for the year, attended classes at Kansas City Community Gardens together and starting digging. We are already harvesting many spring crops!  We have radishes, spinach, spring onions, collard greens and swiss chard.  We anxiously awaiting our sugar snap peas, cabbage and carrots.  After that we will have beets, turnips, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, raspberries, garlic and even popcorn for the kids!  Speaking of kids, we keep a supply of canvass garden bags and art supplies for decorating them in our beautiful new shed donated by Meyer Brothers.  We have already hosted several wonderful groups of volunteers from Resurrection Downtown, a Tulsa church and numerous other organizations that support Hope Faith.  Lush green sod covers what used to be a big patch of dirt.  And ornamental gourds and vining flowers are beginning to crawl up our brand new planters and trellises by the gourd house. Our raised beds have brand new custom markers where we will be able to identify and track plants in each bed.  We hosted the launch of Kansas City Missouri's new water grant program for urban farms and gardens.  What an honor!  We also received a request to be featured in Kansas City Community Garden's donor newsletter as an exciting "success story."  Once again, we will be a stop on the Kansas City Water Garden Society tour on June 28-29.  So as you can see, the garden is a hub of activity.

The most important news, however, is the direction our garden is taking to reach a wider community.  Our gardening group decided to launch a new "pay-as-you-can" harvest program.  For a suggested donation of $5, anyone can get a bag full of fresh-picked produce.  You can pay more, you can pay less or you can donate some time to help with garden chores.  Everyone has the opportunity to contribute either financially or with their time.  The idea is similar to the community cafe concept.  In fact, the organization that helps establish cafes across the country (One World Everybody Eats) says we are the first "pay-as-you-can" garden they are aware of in the country!  They have offered to support us in any way possible. We are so excited!

So please come grab your harvest back and make some new friends.  We at Paseo West Community Garden are all about building community across socio-economic lines.  We are always there on Saturdays from 10:00-12:00 and will be adding more harvest hours soon.  We hope to see you soon!

Joy Snyder
Garden Coordinator

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