There are many great ways to build community. Joining a community garden is just one of them and you get fresh veggies to boot! It has been said that people need a "third place" to have in their lives. We have family, work and a third place. That third place for many is church or temple. Others it is the town square or the local pub. And for some it is a community garden. Over the past five seasons, Pikes Peak Urban Gardens (PPUG) has helped build several community gardens and watched as the neighbors came together. Our motto is: "Creating Places Where People Meet to Grow".
The off-the grid Growing Dome Greenhouse provides year round gardening for the community.
These gardens are great equalizers. We see doctors and lawyers working side by side with folks that might be temporarily homeless. Or perhaps of widely varying religious beliefs. It seems that when they walk through the garden gates all those labels are left outside. Folks just talk about tomatoes, cucumbers and what is the best place to buy cow manure. It became clear to me about 20 years ago when I joined my first community garden in the Old Farm neighborhood. I leased a garden plot and next to me was an older gentleman named Ernie. It is important for the story to mention that Ernie was black and I am white. We ran into each other daily at the gardens, we talked and shared. Both of us were from Detroit and we grew up about one mile from each other. Back in the 1950's folks of different races, even living one mile apart, seldom crossed paths. Over the years (ten to be exact) we discussed what we loved about Detroit: The Vernor's Ginger Ale factory on Woodward Ave, the Franklin Cider Mill, the 24 hour Connie Island Hot Dog Joint, Belle Isle and more. We became good friends. This never would have happened without our encounter at the Old Farm Community Gardens. Ernie passed away a few years ago. I am still missing our friendship but feel so fortunate to have met.
Well on Saturday, November 17, 2012 PPUG, along with the Mill Street Neighborhood Association, Colorado Springs Housing and Development, Colorado Springs Utilities, Home Depot and Don Humphrey, owner of Don's Garden Center will be spending the day with about 50 of the neighbors and friends building community one more garden at a time. Come watch us grow at http://www.ppugardens.org. If you would like more information please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. There might be a new "Third Place" in your life!
in Colorado Springs, CO.
Watch this video on the "Groundbreaking of the Mill Street Community Gardens"