Monday, August 1, 2011

Giving Gardeners: Evanston P-Patch

The iconic Evanston gate
Tucked into the Greenwood neighborhood, the Evanston P-Patch is a delightfully surprising lush green plot of land. Established in 1974, this P-Patch has had many loyal gardeners over the years. There are 69 designated plots, and over 20 more additional co-gardeners. Helen has been around the longest, since 1975, and many still look to her plot as an example. The P-Patch is full of raspberries this time of year, and many of Helen’s flowers seem to have made their way around the garden as well.

There is a proud tradition of donating to the food bank from the Giving Garden and from individual plots. Cath, Cyndi, and Carol are the co-coordinators of the Giving Garden at Evanston.  They organize monthly work parties that usually involve around 20 people. In addition, they keep a task list in the shed so that gardeners always know how to help out when they are in the garden. They also encourage gardeners to email the coordinators about their vacations so that their produce can be harvested for the food bank instead of going to waste.

Evanston has donated over 1,300 pounds of produce every year to the Volunteers of America food bank. In 2009, they donated a whopping 1,750 pounds! This year, their biggest crop has been lettuce—they donated over 200 pounds over 3-4 weeks.

The sense of community amongst the gardeners has certainly contributed to the success of Growing and Giving at Evanston. New gardeners are immediately welcomed and encouraged to participate in Giving Garden activities to get to know the other gardeners.

Thank you Evanston for all you give!
Helen's red dahlias and some neighbors enjoying the evening sun

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