Here is another community garden I visited with the American Public Garden Association a few years back. All of these neighborhood community gardens were being supported by the Chicago Botanic Center at the time. From their web site, it looks like the program was discontinued in 2004. I wonder how many of these gardens are still going strong?
Chicago neighbors named this the Greenhouse Garden.
With all of the berries growing in this garden, it made me think a lot about edible landscapes. Here is one summary of the idea behind this movement. Personally, I think a lot of the stock landscaping plants used by developers are boring, boring, boring. I am sure there could be some problems if our towns, cities and suburbs were covered with berries, fruit trees and vegetables, but I’d kind of like to have to deal with that, wouldn’t you?! Another thing I loved about this community garden was the adult and child sized picnic tables. And behind the picnic tables we learned that they had a “chopping table”. All of the waste from the garden, inedible leaves, stems, etc….got chopped up and put in the compost bin. I loved picturing a family in the garden after a long hot Chicago day, perhaps after fighting traffic and the general stress of life, working in the garden, chopping out their stress and bringing home some tasty produce from the land. Neighbors talk to each other about the garden, about their day, and children explore broccoli and bugs while engaging in some creative make believe. Stress relieved, social ties strengthened, hands-on knowledge about the environment growing…all benefits of community gardening!