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"Make A Difference Day 2001" -- what we did

  • Subject: [cg] "Make A Difference Day 2001" -- what we did
  • From: Alliums <garlicgrower@snip.net>
  • Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 13:35:10 -0500

Hi, Folks!

Here's my offical blurb on what we did this year for "Make A Difference Day"
Unfortunately, we don't have either the numbers or the disgusting nobleness
to win any awards in PA (last year, Pottstown High School won for having
over 1,000 participants and some dentist who gave away free dental care for
the day won the 2 per state awards), but by golly, we sure got a lot done
and the garden looks 3000X better!  Someone should have her wedding
reception there! ;-D

Since I had to suffer through writing it out on the 2% chance that no one
else in PA bothered to do so and we could actually snag the prize money by
default, you all get to suffer through having it in your mailboxes.  Maybe
it will inspire someone else to use the day to get some volunteer work done
at the garden -- it's certainly doing that beautifully (pun intended! ;-))
for us!


Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden

A mission of 
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA  19460

"Make A Difference Day 2001" at St. John's United Church of Christ Organic
Community Garden in Phoenixville, PA

St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden provides free
garden plots to anyone who agrees to garden organically and make the
Biblical Tithe (10%) of their harvest to someone less fortunate. The garden
is the primary source of in-season fresh produce for Phoenixville Area
Community Services' (PACS) food bank and is an heirloom/rare/native plant
repository for Seed Savers Exchange.

"Make a Difference Day," after the fall harvest, is the perfect day to ask
folks to help us help our gardeners so that they can feed the hungry in
Phoenixville during the growing season.  This year, we focused on creating
wildlife/beneficial insect habitats to encourage maximum organic harvests
with minimal inputs and clearing brush from the northern and western sides
of the garden to create new growing beds for fruit trees and herbs.

We offered seven work stations ranging from great effort (hauling wood chip
mulch and clearing brush) to medium effort (transplanting donated native
plants, fence repair and creating a Frog/Butterfly Bog with Wildlife Basking
Area) to little effort (weeding our herb gardens and sowing wildflower seed)
to encourage as many folks to visit the garden as possible.

To encourage volunteers to talk to each other, regardless of their "work
station," and to add a natural (and necessary, considering the work we ask
folks to do!) break to the day, we asked local businesses to donate lunch
and other necessities.  Our sponsors included:

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Workshop Grant
Exterior Structures, Unlimited: wheelbarrows and tools
Sear's Hardware: 55 pairs of gardening gloves
TD Alfredo's Pizzeria: 12 large pizzas
Domino's Pizza: 12 large pizzas
Kimberton Whole Foods: natural sodas 
Burger King: water cooler loan

75 people, ranging in age from 12 to 73 years old and of all local ethnic
groups, joined our gardeners for the day, including the following organizations:

Mitchell (community garden) Program of St. Gabriel's Hall (juvenile hall)
Chester County Juvenile Probation Department -- Community Service Project
Great Valley High School
Bentley Systems, Inc., Exton
EDS, Valley Forge
AEGON, Malvern

Next year, the new beneficial insect habitats should improve our pollination
and decrease our losses to pests.  We've added new herbs to our perennial
mix and now have space to add more fruit trees and shrubs in the spring.
But more immediately, these very different groups, from very different walks
of life, have enjoyed coming together for a common purpose so much that our
Spring and Fall Work Days are now permanent fixtures on their calendars. 

We're making a difference in Phoenixville - on "Make A Difference Day" and
throughout the year by feeding the hungry, building community and providing
a safe haven for native fauna and flora to florish.

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to www.communitygarden.org
community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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