A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who supported community gardens during the CoMoGives local donations campaign!!! Whether you were able to give $10 or $200, or even just passed on our message, we are very grateful for your support!
We’re excited about a new year of gardening and hope that we can supply lots of new and continuing gardeners with the means to grow some of their own food in 2020. Our first meeting of the new year happens Wed., January 8 at the Columbia Public Library at 7 p.m. We welcome funding requests from member gardens, and we’d be happy to meet any volunteers who’d like to get involved.
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!
In 2019, the Community Garden Coalition was pleased to support over 1,000 gardeners through another season of growing food and cultivating community.Our member gardeners include people stretching their food budgets, students learning about growing plants for the first time, people growing produce to donate to others and gardeners keeping alive food traditions from distant cultures.
To help community gardens thrive in Columbia, our all-volunteer group offers seeds, plants, water, insurance, tools and supplies. We believe that small gardens can have large benefits. They provide healthy food, stronger communities, greener neighborhoods and a sense of pride and shared accomplishment.
For the third year in a row, we’re joining the CoMoGives local giving campaign. Our goal is to raise $5,000 during the month of December – and we need your help!
Even a small donation can go a long way in our budget! Your dollars stay local, and they’ll go directly back into supporting community gardens used by your neighbors and friends with hoses, wheelbarrows, lawnmowers, seeds, compost and more.
We would also like to spread our message further this year. Can you help us spread the word about community gardening and our mission, by sharing this message with someone else you know?
Congratulations on another great season of gardening!
The Community Garden Coalition would like to thank all our hardworking garden leaders and volunteers and all our generous donors for their efforts. We are so appreciative of what you do and how you help your community!
We also depend on the support of many individual donors through the CoMoGives local giving campaign in December. Can you help us this year with a donation or by passing on our message to your friends and family?
You can donate to the CGC and many other great local organizations through CoMoGives starting Dec. 1.