So I know that some of you have heard about the Slow Food community garden collaborative. I’ve been waiting to spill the beans because the project has grown and evolved so many times—every time I get close to writing down what we are doing, some new and exciting development has given me pause.

The original idea for a community garden project came from hanging out at a great place on North Davidson and 15th street called Area15. This is an old building (with an acre of open land) that one of my best friends, Carlos Espin, owns with several partners. They split the building up into artists/craftsmen studios and the Area has become a center for many of Charlotte’s best vibrations---Sustainable housing meetings, Artists Meet-ups, etc.

While the ideas were still germinating, the potential site changed several times—we focused for quite a while on a location owned by the City on Parkwood Street and then on a huge, four acre site on Tryon Street. And we’re still working on getting those—turns out it’s very tricky to nail down the details with developers and government officials.

Meanwhile, we have discovered that there is so much pent-up desire to turn empty lots and yards into food-producing gardens that we didn’t need to convince the people who matter most. The folks at Area15, after talking and thinking about gardening all winter, couldn’t wait any longer. They cut in the first of their gardens a couple of weeks ago and built four very large raised beds and a structure to hold their water catchment tanks.

This is now going to be the very first Slow Food Community Garden collaborative-supported garden—Carlos and I shook on it over dirt on Saturday. The second is going to be the garden Lynn is putting in at the Tailgate market. Sign up for the group and let’s discuss how we can best make these efforts a success. We’re open to any help you can give—volunteering expertise, participation at the March 28th fundraiser at the Earthfare stores, equipment, etc. And we’re open to suggestions about other possible community garden spots—if there is property available and local people eager to participate, we want to help them make it possible.

So that’s the skinny on the garden—it’s going to be a fine project that we can all be proud of!

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Replies to This Discussion

Rich this is a wonderful idea! Presbyterian Hospital dept of Hospice and Pallative care is starting a garden at McGill Rose Gardens. It's a 20 by 20' plot, that I believe is to be organic. Purpose is to supply Hospice patients and their families with fresh food. The director, Lorri Bland is coordinating the endeavor. I suggested that the two of you may want to discuss possible collaborations. Her email is

We just harvested our first crop of cabbage at the Myers Park United Methodist garden. Also planted 4 kinds of lettuce, turnips, carrots and chard. We're looking for a local source of Asian vegetable seeds as our produce mainly feeds the Montagnard population here in town.

I'll be glad to help with the Earthfare event on Sat, Mar 28th...Sue


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