The CGC has been helping gardens grow since 1983. Here’s a look back at some of the gardens we supported in 2019.
The support we receive from donors like you allows us to fund fences, tools, water, mulch, compost, plants, seeds and equipment at gardens like these. It only takes $10 to show your support for another great year of growing community through gardens.
One of the ways that the Community Garden Coalition gets funding for our efforts (besides your generous donations) is through a small grant from the City of Columbia. To receive this grant, we must apply every two years and go through the same rigorous process as agencies with paid employees. Part of the review process includes taking Health Department commissioners on a tour of one of our gardens. This year, Garden Leader Hari Poudel and other gardeners hosted this tour at the Ash Street Garden, and I went along.
That tour was a revelation for me! I wish that everyone could have been along to see how important this garden is to so many people. I always knew that we helped people grow tasty and healthful produce for themselves, family and friends, but I didn’t realize how many people originally from other countries used our gardens to grow their native produce and medicinal plants. According to Hari, there are thirty different families gardening at Ash Street, many of whom came from Nepal, Bangladesh, Taiwan, South Korea and China.
I recently asked Hari if he would mind answering the following questions so more folks could get a glimpse of the Ash Street gardening community.
Q: What inspired you to become the garden leader at Ash Street?
Hari: First, I am very glad to serve as a garden leader in the Ash St garden. The key motivational factor is my intention of serving local communities where I live. Second, when I am at the garden, I feel it is my second home. It is also a place to meet people from different backgrounds, experiences, and cultures. More importantly, a community garden can serve as a social network place which helps in enhancing social ties and building a greater feeling of community. Lastly, I am able to learn different vegetable farming practices from people from different countries. It’s a great learning opportunity.
Q: Please describe the gardeners at Ash St. and how you think the garden helps them and their families.
Hari: The garden has a broad impact at the community level. About 30 households, including 67 family members, are actively involved in Ash St garden. Gardeners have grown a wide variety of vegetables. More than 50% have been gardening for more than four years. We always have new applicants on our waiting list. The planting season starts right after our garden kick-off day in April and it will go until late October or early November. During my four year experience as a garden leader, I would say more than 90% of the gardeners depend on fresh vegetables for about 5-6 months on the garden. Thus, I would say that our garden has significantly contributed to help in providing fresh vegetables to our gardeners. I am also one of the beneficiaries.
Thanks to Hari and all the gardeners at Ash St., the Health Department commissioners were very pleased with their garden tour, and the City has once again awarded the CGC with a social services grant to continue our support for gardens like these.
This December, you can also show that you support community gardening by making a donation to the CGC through the CoMoGives local giving project. Your dollars go directly to pay for water, tools, mulch and more at gardens like Ash Street. Find our CoMoGives page here, and don’t forget to donate by December 31!
“The garden is the crossroads of our community. I can’t think of a better way to encourage diversity than a garden — it’s diversity in action!” – Johann Geyer, Unite 4 Health Garden
This is a good reminder that community gardens grow community as well as food! With only a few days left in 2018, the garden coalition needs donations large and small to continue our support of the diverse community gardens of Columbia next year.
There’s still time to help the Community Garden Coalition grow food and fellowship in 2019! Just visit our CoMoGives page to donate.
You can also help us by sending this message on to family, friends and neighbors. CoMo Gives will accept donations for us and 121 other great local groups through December 31.
We appreciate your support for community gardening!
On a cold morning early this year, friends of the Russell Boulevard Elementary garden built some new raised beds for their student gardeners with funding help from the Garden Coalition. We’re so thankful to volunteers like these for lending their muscle to help gardens grow and kids learn!
Community gardens give people a way to grow their own fresh food for themselves, their families, neighbors, coworkers and friends. If you have ever gardened you know the satisfaction of putting food you have grown onto the table. The Community Garden Coalition of Columbia and Boone County supports numerous community gardens as well as school-based gardens, helping hundreds to grow food locally and sustainably, often within walking distance of their home or apartment. Nurturing plants becomes a valuable way to nurture community relationships!
Now that the weather’s turned and most of our gardens are dormant, it’s a good moment to look back on this season. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of our member gardens, starting today with Ash St. Garden.
One of the largest community gardens in Columbia, Ash St. Garden provided plots for more than 25 families this year and those plots helped feed about 85 family members. Garden leader Hari Poudel offered these pictures of the garden plots growing all kinds of vegetables in mid-June.
On January 18, the CGC hosted a party at Shakespeare’s South to thank all of those who lead our member gardens. Our organization offers all the money, advice and support we can muster, but the garden leaders are the real backbone of each community garden. So, though we already thanked them with food, beverage and some swanky door prizes, one more time, we say to them, “Thank you! We couldn’t do it without your work!”
We’d also like to thank the many people and businesses that generously donated goods or gift certificates for our event. The winners were pretty thrilled to go home with a little something awesome.
Our donors were:
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Clovers Easy Digging
Fergus Moore (handmade mug)
Lauren Renquist (handpainted Tom’s shoes)
Sierra Rainsong (aloe plants)
Strawberry Hill Nursery
Westlake Ace Hardware
On Saturday, June 18, the Community Garden Coalition teamed up with the PedNet Coalition for a bike tour of some of Columbia’s finest community gardens. Michelle Windmoeller of PedNet led the group as we cycled from garden to garden. Visiting a diverse array of gardens, we got a taste for what’s growing around town, from the Coalition’s newest garden at the Health Department to the chickens at the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture’s demonstration garden.
The snowbells have already started to bloom and we are already getting inquiries from eager gardeners. So, I guess it’s time to shake off the winter stupor and get ready for spring.
If your mind has already turned to the garden, check out our gardening resources page while you wait for the seasons to catch up.
Also, I just happened to hear the Governer say this in his State of the State address:
“…every Missouri family should be able to share the bounty of the land, including fresh, healthy produce. That’s why my budget will help promote local farmers markets, and encourage more folks to start community gardens in their neighborhoods.”