North Central News

Community gardens offer great alternative

October is prime planting season for Phoenicians. But what if you don’t have the right kind of yard, or soil, to grow your favorite fall veggies?

One option may be to “rent” a small garden plot from one of the North Central area’s community gardens, including Growing Together: A Giving Garden. The community garden located just west of Central and Glendale avenues at Living Streams Church grows fruits and vegetables for those in need in the community.

Members of the Washington High School Interact Club, led by club advisor Jill Green (far right), volunteer twice a month in the fall at the Grown Together: A Giving Garden, located on the grounds of Living Streams Church (submitted photo).

Members of the Washington High School Interact Club, led by club advisor Jill Green (far right), volunteer twice a month in the fall at the Grown Together: A Giving Garden, located on the grounds of Living Streams Church (submitted photo).

The garden’s Adopt-a-Bed program is in its fifth year and is the primary fundraiser each season. It works like this: volunteers (a family, youth group, individual, company, school club, etc.) can purchase a garden bed for a tax-deductible donation and be part of the bed preparation, planting, watering, weeding and harvesting. Ninety percent of the harvest is donated to those in need, while donors get to keep 10 percent and enjoy a Veggie Swap with other volunteers at the end of the season. “We typically have 15-20 families and groups adopting a bed each planting season,” says garden volunteer coordinator, Britton Sanchez. “All donations support our watering needs, supplies, seedlings and seeds.”

Washington High School Interactors like to get their hands dirty on the weekend—the school club has been volunteering at the garden almost since its inception. “It’s one of our favorite service events,” said Jill Green, who advises the campus club. “It is awesome for the students to see the gardening process start to finish each season. And knowing our harvest is going to those in need is a bonus.”

Interact is sponsored by Sun City Rotary and has 250 members who complete more than 60 events each year.

Growing Together: A Giving Garden began as a vacant lot in November 2009 and has harvested more than 30,000 pounds of food, received 6,000 hours of volunteer service hours and serves four local nonprofit organizations who typically go without fresh fruits and vegetables. In the fall, most volunteers come the first and third Saturday of the month at 7 a.m. For more information about the Adopt a Bed program, visit: www.growingtogetherphx.org.

Another option is to use one of the pre-made raised garden boxes at the PHX Renews site, located at the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Indian School Road, accessed off of Central Avenue just before the light at Glenrosa. These plots are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis, and gardeners are required to bring their own seeds or plant starters and gardening tools to use. All boxes are set with drip systems in place, so watering is taken care of.

To see whether there are any boxes available, e-mail PHXRenews@keepphoenixbeautiful.org, or call 602-920-0229.

 

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