City grant helps neighborhood feed neighbors
EVERETT - The South Forest Park Neighborhood can be proud of how its garden has grown.
The neighborhood garden raises food for neighbors and for Volunteers of America Food Bank.
So far, the neighborhood has contributed 300 pounds of food this year to the food bank, and individual neighbors have contributed food, too.
About 14 families are growing organic potatoes, carrots, beans, radishes and other vegetables in the 45-by-80-foot plot at Zion Lutheran Church, 4634 Alger Ave.
“It’s a good size,” neighborhood acting chair Dennis Dudder said. “A lot of vegetables come out of it.”
Their point of pride is an oversized pumpkin that will be donated to a kid’s group.
The neighborhood dubbed it the Growing Together Community Garden.
The community garden has the know-how support from two master gardeners, including city Office of Neighborhoods’ Wendy McClure, Dudder said.
Some of the food goes back to the church for Zion Lutheran’s weekly meal for the poor.
The neighborhood built the garden last year using a city grant through the Office of Neighborhoods. The local Ace Hardware, Martin Lumber and Cedar Grove Composting donated supplies and soil. This is the first full season of growing.
There’s more planned for the garden. Dudder hopes to install a bench and picnic table on the site when the neighborhood can find enough donations for those items.
South Forest Park and the Red Barn Community Farm in the Lowell area received grant extensions authorized by the City Council last week.
The Red Barn Community Farm is a much larger 400-acre site that also grows food for Volunteers of America Food Bank.
For South Forest Park, the grant extension will “help us get through the winter,” get through spring “and pay the water bill,” Dudder said.
The neighborhood also wants to redevelop the West Ridge Plat into a safe space for kids to play. The developers who built the neighborhood set aside the plat for a playground, but it became overgrown in recent decades and no one uses it. Neighbors spent a day cleaning it up this spring.
To contribute to the garden or to ask questions, e-mail the neighborhood at firstname.lastname@example.org with a message titled “Attn: Paula.”
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