Location: Hartford, CT
Originally posted on July 3rd, 2013 on Summer of Solutions Hartford
A year ago today Wesley Colbert, our neighbor at the Zion Street Community Garden, passed away. He has been our most enthusiastic supporter and advocate, he taught our whole team how to properly shovel, and he came to every event we ever put on at the garden.
We met Wes our first day working on Zion Street. We had just started cleaning out the lots, when a man poked his head over the fence and said “are you guys building a garden or something?” When we said yes, he didn’t wait for any explanation, grabbed tools from his house, and came over. He helped us every day that first summer and in no uncertain terms made the Zion Street Community Garden possible. We are so grateful for his enthusiasm, love, understanding, and astounding gardening skills. We miss him dearly.
Today we will be officially naming the Zion Street Garden after him – The Wesley Colbert Zion Street Community Garden.
There are many BIG moves to come for the Little Rock, Arkansas based Summer of Solutions program. We began the month of April with a Garden Work day on Saturday, April 6, 2013, which we hosted in conjunction with the Better Community Development’s Community Block Party.
Working in the garden on 12th and Oak Street
Better Community Development’s Community Block Party
Project Youth Green provides 60+ farmers with plots for a small fee that creates a sense of community in the city of Pacoima.
Last weekend Jackie and I (from the Arleta SoS program) had the opportunity to meet a couple of folks who have planted some veggies on the land supported by Project Youth Green. PYG is a part of the Youth Speak Collective organization. Youth Speak Collective has many branches that engage the youth on productive projects. These projects are long-term in scope and involve the community along the way.
We took a look at the gardening branch of PYG which allows for members of the community to rent a plot for the year with a small fee of ten dollars a month. Located on a hillside, this garden space gives us a sense of serenity. The streets below hold bustling cars and the fast pace of a busy city. In the garden we see bees pollinating, families enjoying nature together, lots of good energy emanates from the people around us and the plants that welcome us to this lovely place. A fruit tree orchard is found on one of the hills. Seeing the avocado trees makes me crave some yummy homemade guacamole. Now I see what the modest fee is for. This cost covers the plants most essential element for nourishment, water. This allows for residents who live in a place where there is little to no space for gardening the opportunity to grow something of their liking on a piece of land. Farmers can either consume the food they grow or trade with the 60+ farmers growing food there.
Its not the first time I see something amazing like this happening in our own Valley. It is people that keep that motivation high for the rest who want to contribute to the solution. I’m glad that I had the chance to spend time with my team member and absorb the beauty that keeps on thriving with the help from people. We also met and talked to some vendors who were selling crafts, homemade dips, and citrus fruits. On this particular day PYG had a DJ and various vendors for the Farmer’s Market that they host every first Saturday of each month. Continue reading