WE Community Gardens

WE believe that the way to a community’s heart is through its stomach.
It is our vision to revitalize the West End community’s life blood, body, mind, and spirit
Through the growing and sharing of foods naturally grown.

Our programmatic approach has a threefold purpose:

INSPIRATION
Through the fundamental example of community gardens that are beautiful and bountiful.

The garden inspires us to live into the people God created us to be by:
• Worship Gatherings: The garden is a place of beauty for periodic worship gatherings
• Community Gatherings: Fostering community through our neighborhood garden festivals
o Spring Equinox – garden preparation and celebration
o Summer Solstice – garden celebration and feast
o Fall Equinox – Collard Green cook-off and celebration
o Winter Solstice – Christmas Feast
• Partnership with Family Court: Each Wednesday, juvenile offenders are welcomed as volunteers to the garden where they not only do community service but learn valuable life skills.

EDUCATION
WE provide available resources and information about sustainable gardening and natural food preparation to increase the health and well being of a community overwhelmingly challenged by food insecurity and the lack of healthier food choices.

The garden provides needed educational opportunities by:
• Third Saturday Classes: the third Saturday of each month, we offer educational sessions covering a broad range of health topics from organic gardening to yoga.  Each session is from 11AM to 1PM at Urban Ministry or in the garden.
• Weed, Seed, Feed, Read: Youth from the Urban Ministry’ summer camp and after school program spend one day a week in the garden learning important skills about gardening and about life.  They are involved in the whole process of food: from soil to table.
• Food and Family: Many of our Food and Family groups have decided to incorporate the garden into their monthly dinners, again involving youth in the whole process of food: from seed to table.
• Lee Elementary Partnership: We have assisted Lee Elementary School in setting up their own gardening program.

INSTITUTIONS
We are striving to create self sustaining and holistic models of food institutions that can serve as a means to revitalize the economic landscape in a community that is otherwise a food desert.

• Community Plots: We have 4’x8’ gardening plots ready to plant which are leased by community members seasonally for a nominal fee based on ability to pay.  Gardeners are furnished with soil, natural fertilizers, seed, seedlings, water, and hands-on instruction
• Community Work Days: Every Wednesday and Saturday morning is a work day in the garden.  All who come are welcome to share in the harvest.

FUTURE PLANS
• Curb Market: to provide a place where community residents can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables
• Education center and cannery: To provide a place where participants can preserve their food and participate in cooking class


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