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Piece Today in the St. Louis Post Dispatch

  • Subject: [cg] Piece Today in the St. Louis Post Dispatch
  • From: "Honigman, Adam" <Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com>
  • Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 16:41:49 -0500


This is a rare pro-gardening, pro-community gardening story which appeared
in the St. Louis Post Dispatch today. 

Here's the link: 


The journalist didn't exactly get it right ( Gateway Greening made two $250
contributions - one for the Clinton Community Garden's Fireman's Fundraiser
& $250 to NYC's Greenthumb for tools that were contributed or worn out
during the early days of the WTC dig out) but it may have been too much
detail for this kind of story, which was written really fast for a deadline.

Beats the anti-Garden NY Daily News article, "Garden Weasels" from last
summer any day! 

Sometimes if you create a garden "media event" they will come.  A win for
all of us. Let's hope the wire services pick it up!

Apple Orchard In City Will Be A  Memorial to Sept. 11
This story was published in Metro on Wednesday, March 20, 2002. 
By Becky Homan 
Post-Dispatch Garden Editor 
* The volunteers who planted the trees Tuesday say their feet got muddy but
their hearts were uplifted.

For bleakness, there was the low, gray cloud cover combined with the sucking
sound of boots being pulled out of mud.

And yet, on the eve Tuesday of the vernal equinox -- as the first day of
spring, March 20, is scientifically known -- a group of St. Louis gardeners
joyfully braved rain and clouds and general muck to plant eight young,
dwarf-apple trees.

They did so not just to honor spring. They were also honoring victims and
survivors of the terrorist attacks Sept. 11.

"We're calling this the Nine Eleven Orchard," said Gwenne Hayes-Stewart,
executive director of the tree-planting's sponsor, the nonprofit Gateway
Greening Inc.

The site was a modest piece of raised ground on Bell Avenue, just northwest
of the Grand Center area. Parts of it are home to Gateway Greening's Bell
Community Garden -- a series of vegetable beds that have served homeowners
in this city neighborhood since 1986.

"We didn't want to have a Nine Eleven Vegetable Garden," said Hayes-Stewart,
even though other communities are talking about reviving the idea of Victory
Gardens, popular during World War II. "That's already done by the Bell
gardeners," she said. They give away much of their produce each year to area
food pantries.

"We wanted an orchard," she added, "to demonstrate how to grow fruit trees
in the city." In about three years, she said, the dwarf Jonathan and Fuji
and Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apple trees, among other types, will
be producing good fruit. Eckert's Orchard selected the trees and helped
Gateway pay for them.

Hayes-Stewart got the idea for the orchard after starting an Internet
relationship with members of the Clinton Community Garden in New York City.
The Clinton garden serves a neighborhood that lost 38 firefighters from
three fire houses in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.

Shortly after Sept. 11, she arranged for Gateway Greening to give the
Clinton group $250 to replace garden picks and shovels - tools that had been
used at ground zero in the early days of a recovery effort.

A community garden in Minneapolis also donated cash. And a group of
gardeners in Seattle has collected and composted thousands of flowers
brought to a local 9/11 mourning site. They plan to take some of the compost
to New York, "as a gesture of healing and solidarity," according to a
Clinton Garden newsletter.

Back at the Bell garden's tree planting, clouds of gloom were lifting.

"Ta da!" shouted Hayes-Stewart, as she finished digging a particularly deep

"Woo-hoo!" shouted another gardener. "It's almost spring."

Marvis Meyers laughed as she asked, no one in particular, a very basic
question: "OK, how am I supposed to get back in my car with all this mud on
my boots?"

But the trees were in.

"Isn't it great to see people come out in this kind of weather?" said
volunteer and master gardener Tom Hardy. "This time of year, we get cabin
fever, and we're all anxious to be outside."

He said the fruit trees would be at their best in "about three or four
years." That amount of time, he added, "also may give us something of a
benchmark, to measure how far we've come" since the acts of terrorism.

He paused. "Given the significance of the Nine Eleven Orchard," he said, "I
am proud and blessed to be here."

Published in the Metro section of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Wednesday,
March 20, 2002.
Copyright (C)2002, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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