Slow Food Community Garden Collaborative


Slow Food Community Garden Collaborative

We seek to support the wonder of food production in a wide variety of communities and green spaces.

Members: 44
Latest Activity: Mar 2, 2012

Friendship Trays Community Garden

Steve, over at Friendship Trays, is doing a great job keeping a diary about our project behind their warehouse. Check it out at:

Discussion Forum

Hispanic participation in community gardens 1 Reply

Started by Rachel Mullins. Last reply by Katherine Metzo Jan 18, 2012.

The Mission....... 12 Replies

Started by Rich Deming. Last reply by Sue Varga Jun 26, 2009.

The background.... 1 Reply

Started by Rich Deming. Last reply by Sue Varga Mar 9, 2009.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Lawrence Heath on August 10, 2011 at 8:22pm

Thanks for the great tips.  Lani, what type of help do you need on Saturday mornings? I am at work uptown during the weekdays and normally busy with my family Saturday afternnoons and Sundays.  So, my on site help may be limited to Saturday mornings.


I have enjoyed doing some outdoor cooking for my son's Boy Scouts group and roasting whole hogs for pig pickin's for non-profits and church groups.  I always enjoy a group coming together on food projects and I have access to pig cookers.


Also, I love to cook pork shoulders, beef briskets, turkeys and vegs on my wood-fired backyard cooker.  I would be happy to donate a few wood fire roasted items to Friendship Trays from time to time if they would be interested.



Comment by lani lawrence on August 10, 2011 at 10:00am
I Lawrence, We would love to have you visit Friendship Trays at 2401 Distribution Street. There are about 13 gardens in our network that bring in fresh produce to help supplement our  meals that go to those in our community that can not prepare meals for themselves. We need help everyday from volunteers to help in the kitchen,deliver meals, and to help int he garden. Please call  704.970.4842 or email llawrence@friendshiptrays for more information.
Comment by Katherine Metzo on August 10, 2011 at 9:01am
Lawrence--If I understand what you mean by food ministry, there are a few. The one that Slow Food Charlotte is intimately involved with is Friendship Trays, where we have a demo garden and receive produce from 13-15 other community gardens in our Friendship Gardens network.  We really need help in the kitchen and would LOVE extra help with getting the harvest in from our various gardens, getting it processed and prepared.  Contact Lani Lawrence ( if you want to work in the kitchen or me ( if you are more interested in the garden side.
Comment by Lawrence Heath on August 9, 2011 at 10:20pm

I am looking for a food ministry with a link to a community garden to help with gardening and cooking. Any suggestions?


Comment by Rich Deming on February 1, 2010 at 9:52pm
I took a little walk through our Friendship Trays garden Sunday afternoon to contemplate the garden season past and future. Other than the running water of snow melt leaking out of a cracked pipe in our water harvesting system, and hopefully some unseen activity in the compost bins, everything was very quiet.

I have been severely remiss in keeping up this page. That is a vast understatement, and those of you who know me understand this isn’t a problem I usually suffer from.

But if I have been lazy in updating our progress, we have been extremely busy in the garden and in building a future for this and other community gardens in Charlotte.

To recap what we’ve done in the last six months:

--Kicked the Friendship Trays garden into high gear: we spent all the money we raised last year, and then some, and helped build a beautiful garden at the Friendship Trays. If you haven’t yet, when it gets nice you should come out and see it! It’s a very nice space.

--Working closely with the team at Friendship Trays, we’ve laid the groundwork to expand the garden to create some serious food production possibilities. We’ve established good relations with the neighbors—who might think we are a bit peculiar, situated in our little industrial nook-- and have sign off to clear out scrub and use land to grow and roofs for water all up and down this area.

--We had a smash up party, the start of a new tradition, and had a lot of fun and raised money for Friendship Trays and the garden.

--We established a network of other community gardens in the city. Using our funds and labor, we have helped the gardens at Area15, off North Davidson, and Irwin Creek Community Garden, by Revolution Park, establish a foothold. We have formed relationships with community gardens at Moore’s Place—the future residential component of the Urban Ministry—and Hope Haven.

--And most recently, we have applied for a large grant from the Woman’s Impact Fund to tie these efforts together and supercharge our efforts going forward. This grant would help us form a network of community gardens around town, with funding and expertise and sweat. In return, these gardens will provide a truly meaningful amount of fresh produce to put into the Meals-on-Wheels that Friendship Trays deliver to the disadvantaged all over the city. The grant will help us buy dirt and infrastructure and expertise and worms and did I mention dirt? Lots of dirt……

The nice thing is that writing this grant got us focused on where we want to take our Slow Food Community Garden Collaborative. We sort of knew, but now we have a serious plan! So the Woman’s Impact Fund has already done us a real service. But if we happened to get some funding to make the plan a reality this year and next, well, that’d be just swell too. Cross your fingers and hope for us; or if you happen to have a vote at WIF, lobby your friend’s and vote for us!

Comment by George Berger on July 10, 2009 at 10:08am
Thanks, Rich! I appreciate the info, and will pass it along. The good thing is that most of us are affiliated in some way with SFC, either directly or through our association and involvement with the Davidson Farmers' Market. And so we're not in need of funds (thanks to SFC for the donation to the DFM from Ark of Taste!); information, however, is another matter. Let's talk more later, but perhaps you could post the locations (and any web-based info) for the sites, and we'll start by looking!

Thanks again!
Comment by Rich Deming on July 10, 2009 at 9:59am
Hi George,

We'd be happy to help in any way we can. To be totally honest, we're getting stretched a bit thin--we have two more gardens that we are assisting now, which brings the total we are trying to digest this first year to four. We've spread most of the funds we've raised around the gardens and now we're planning our way to raise some more.

This is very early, but we are planning a nice fundraising effort for the week before Halloween, and as a part of that we want to have some speakers/workshops. So that might be an excellent way to spread the good CG word.

As for a tour, I can direct you to the sites of any of our gardens. Perhaps we can coordinate on a Saturday work day to make scheduling easier for one of us to be around.

Also, there is no going rate for any of our gardens....they are free. But that model wouldn't work in some places.

Cheers, Rich
Comment by George Berger on July 10, 2009 at 9:50am
In Davidson, there is a small group (myself included) who're doing the initial planning for a community garden on the property of St. Alban's Episcopal Church. We'd love some assistance--including, as the 'specific question of the day.' what the "going rate" is for area CG rental plots.

It'd also be cool if we could tour some gardens, and/or have a CG organizer/facilitator speak to our organizing group about...well, strategies for organization.

Please feel free to contact me (George Berger) at your convenience, at 704/896-1704 (h) or Thanks very much!
Comment by Donna Thrasher on May 11, 2009 at 4:36am
I recommend reading Grace From the Garden, Changing the World One Garden at a Time by Debra Landwehr Engle. Written in 2003, its a little book about real gardens & real garden projects - that teach, nourish, unite, inspire, & heal and with lots of ideas of what our community could do.
Comment by Rich Deming on May 10, 2009 at 9:30am
And a couple of other things (see previous comment)........You might want to join this group to stay posted....there are going to be a lot of seriously groovy things going on in the coming season.

Secondly, For each of our gardens, I would like to develop a sign to acknowledge contributors. I don't want anything obnoxious, just a little something to say thanks to groups that have helped. Maybe something like "This garden has been created with the help of Slow Food Charlotte and:...." and a list of sponsors. Earthfare, for example, needs some large size kudos for their support.

Maybe something that would allow us to add more sponsors to the list as it grows---little hanging signs or something.

By the way, Denise donated a cool statue to the FT garden. If anyone has anything else that would add to the ambiance--say, wind chimes or something--let me know.

I'd like something for the sign that's different and artsy and maybe a little funky--the pallet raised beds aren't exactly corporate, so we might as well keep the theme.

Let me know if you have any ideas!

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