Digging Community Gardens
Community gardens are being cultivated nationwide in a way that is reminiscent of the Victory Garden era of the 1940's. Although current levels of production are not as prevalent, the interest in community food production is definitely there!
This was evident at January's Agriculture Collaborative meeting, The Buzz Around Community Gardens, which had a record turnout of over 80 people. Folks in the Albuquerque area want to grow food, and many want to grow it with others in shared community gardens.
The meeting was lead by three expert speakers who shared their knowledge of community gardens in the Albuquerque area.
Wade Paterson, co-founder of Action Buzz Gardens, shared his "can-do" pointers, and his community garden wish list. He hopes that in the future the city will offer water access at a discounted rate for community gardens, and he would like to see an annual community garden tour. Wade also highlighted that when neighbors become familiar with one another in a community garden setting, they can begin to address other areas of mutual interest, such as increased safety and security in the neighborhood.
John Bulten, of East Central Ministries, spoke of his organization's success with a "holistic urban farming" model they developed in the La Mesa-Trumbull neighborhood of Southeast Albuquerque. This urban farm plan includes two community gardens, a food bank, a greenhouse, urban chickens, worm raising and the manufacturing of clay ollas used for irrigation. John sees that along with raising crops, the ministry is raising up indigenous leaders. The work not only has strengthened the community on a social level, but has provided access to healthy food and new income opportunities for members.
Christianna Cappelle, project coordinator for the Gardeners Guild, informed the Agriculture Collaborative members of support they offer for urban gardeners, both online and at their Nob Hill store location. She invited folks to stop by the store for free gardening consultations, to utilize the on-site resource library, attend one of the seasonal workshops, or shop for garden supplies. Their website serves as a gardening network, with a bulletin board, and space to collaborate and share resources.