Growing a Community in Carmichael

Growing a Community in Carmichael

by the Rev. Robert Olsen, Deacon of St. George's, Carmichael

Four years ago, the vestry of St George’s, Carmichael set a goal of developing a hands-on project to complement the outreach we do through other agencies, feeding and caring for our neighbors. An outcome of that decision was to establish a community garden on a portion of the church’s undeveloped property. The vestry studied other community garden operations in the greater Sacramento area and discovered a large need, as those closest to our location have waiting lists and there were no gardens in our immediate area. The congregation took up this challenge and raised the funds necessary to install water lines and prepare the land for 24 plots, plowing the soil and adding amendments to the land that has stood fallow since 1966.

The purpose of the community garden is to meet the needs of our neighbors, providing a place to grow produce to supplement their food budgets. In the immediate area surrounding St George’s there is a mix of apartments, condos and individual houses. However, even for those living in houses a garden is not always an option if they are renting or if neighboring shade trees preclude a usable garden area. Current gardeners include low income families, those who have been hit by the recent recession (job losses by individuals or spouses, reduced hours etc.) and a senior’s group living in Section 8 HUD housing. While the garden plots are not restricted to low income and seniors, scholarships are available (and have been used) to cover annual maintenance fees.

Thanks to a generous bequest from a parishioner, additional waterlines, plot preparation and the planting of fruit trees was done this past winter, so that the garden can eventually be expanded to 54 plots, with more of those being dedicated to local food closets.

3 comments (Add your own)

1. John Mangels wrote:
Anyone else out there looking for a place to have a garden?

Wed, August 24, 2011 @ 10:38 AM

2. Rick Laughman wrote:
Way to go St George!! I'm sure you have a waiting list for your garden plots. At St James Yuba City we are considering using some of our vacant land for community garden plots to compliment our garden. Any advice you have on how you set up your project would be greatly appreciated.
Take care and keep up the great work.

Fri, August 26, 2011 @ 3:32 PM

3. Huong wrote:
Hello!Were these gardens in the Wedding Planner? That Jennifer Lopez from a ucpole of years ago? Or wa it in NYC? Pictures are beautiful but look familiar.

Wed, March 7, 2012 @ 1:12 PM

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