Our office space was once a family home connected to a thriving neighborhood business, a florist shop and greenhouse, that served the neighborhood with fresh flowers and houseplants for 110 years. We’ve kept close to these “roots” by maintaining a garden that is part of the Urban Farm and Garden Alliance.
The Greenhouse Garden is currently farmed by YouthFarm, with a plot set aside for a community member in the GrowRx program, where gardening is prescribed as a means of improving health and well-being.
The garden, nominated this year for a Blooming St. Paul award, is a gathering place for the community. It was host this year to our NeighborWorks Week party, a meeting of Urban Farm and Garden Alliance and GrowRx, a garden tour, and, in August, the Garden Gathering.
The Garden Gathering was part of a series of events in Urban Farm and Garden Alliance gardens. Local artists directed community-building activities to bring people together in the outdoors to share in fun and delicious, locally-grown food in a peaceful environment.
- Stephanie Hankerson and Shari Cueto led a “make one, share one” bouquet building activity that brought people closer to nature, and to each other, with nearly 1,000 stems of foraged and purchased flowers assembled and given away.
- Keeping with the flower theme, community artist WOW helped visitors paint wooden flower cutouts that were later added to revitalize our Little Free Library.
- The “Card Crew” brought beautiful materials for guests to create custom note cards to share encouraging messages with friends and neighbors.
- YouthFarm made a delicious meal of greens, rice, and roasted vegetables, sourced from local gardens (including our own.)
- And the SparkIt trailer brought games, toys, and art tools for expression through movement, friendly competition, and creativity.
“It was a joy to bring plant material to this community event. So often, folks are told ‘don’t touch’, ‘don’t pick’ or maybe have fear of bumblebees or how the texture of plants feel. Activities like this allow a warm welcome to nature, and in this case also shared the beauty!” – Stephanie Hankerson
Photos courtesy of Adrestria Photography: