Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Greenhouse Community Garden

The Greenhouse Community Garden sits behind the Potawatomi Conservatories, and is a shining example of what group of 24 people coming together can accomplish. Krista Bailey is the garden leader, and I have heard from some of her gardening group that the garden would not be anywhere without her organization skills . Its more than just about the garden for Krista. She lives a sustainable lifestyle . On any given day you may see her with her wagon heading to the garden , or she may show up at a garden opening on her bike. Krista also co-teaches a class on sustainability IUSB . She knows what she is doing when it comes to community gardens. She led the Americorp Community Garden group focusing on education, the environment , volunteer programs , and restoration .
A little history of the Community Garden; Late in 2007 a couple of people prepared a proposal to present to the city and the botanical society . In Oct of 2007 the proposal was accepted . Early 2008 the planning began . Discussions around garden design and management went from Jan to March . A cooperative framework was decided on . With 20 members ( or shares ) on board they decided on what to grow, with two shares in charge of each crop . The shares were responsible for securing seeds , finding best growing methods , and working the plot .
The first season was a roaring success . Many people toured the garden , attended workshops , an heirloom tomato tasting , and a end of the season open house .
Meanwhile on the other side of town another garden was growing . In 2008 Sara Stewart was growing an open community garden. She and Krista got together , and formed Unity Gardens in 2009.
The rest is history . In 2010 they became a non-profit 503-C with over 30 gardens . The Greenhouse Community Garden continues to stay true to it original framework of shared plots . They take a share of each harvest and donate it to a local food bank . Plans for next year include a harvest day for those in need , and a sharing shelf.
One of the things I like about the Greenhouse Garden are its use of a organic growing model . They also grow some experimental items including peanuts this year. This year they are doing a educational area showing the different ways to compost. Most of all the sense of community among its members .
So Thank You Krista, for not just your garden efforts , but also your work to protect our environment .

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