Community garden efforts warming up

g-community gardening

I love the month of April because of the hope it brings. Sure, grey days linger and we still may need a scarf and jacket, but then you get a glimpse of earth as the snow melts. We are gifted with more warmth of the sun while the breeze brings the smell and excitement of spring.

Here in Folwell, spring will bring with it a handful of new growing efforts under the umbrella of the Folwell Farmers Coalition.

Northside Pumpkin Patch: Up on 37th and Emerson we will be starting our very own Northside Pumpkin Patch. Unlike the other growing spaces in Folwell, this garden is not intended for hanging out and hosting events. We will quietly grow on this property until we are ready to gather kids to pick from their own pumpkin patch, then head out for a fall festival at our other community garden, the Penn Ave Garden.

Penn Ave Garden: Yes, the garden plot on 36th and Penn will be revitalized this spring with a strong focus on investing in the people and earth around this space. The Folwell Neighborhood Association (FNA) has made a commitment to this corner to build up community, nurture peace, and grow good food for everyone to enjoy. A back section of this garden will be designated to grow local organic produce for the Wirth Co-op and North Market. The U of M will also have an herb circle wheel that will be a training and education tool for students and the community. Join us Sunday, April 15 from 1-4 p.m. for a garden “Spring Clean” and neighborhood meal. We will gather as community and lay the groundwork for weekly garden events, and plot preparation.

Penn Ed Garden: (Soon to be named by the community): Next door neighbor Tecara is starting a youth focused educational garden for the whole community to enjoy at 34th and Penn. It will have a strong focus of teaching neighbors and students about how to use what the earth gives us and turning it into meals, body care, hair care and health care.

Story Garden: The Story Garden continues to be a fruitful community garden on 35th and Humboldt sponsored by the Camden Lions. As one of the smallest gardens, its charming design is intended to be an enchanting introduction to gardening for those who have never grown anything or for those like me, who love it, but have so much to learn. The space is created to host story telling events, and grow a large variety of plants as a way of trying a little bit of everything.

Tiny Fields Project: If community gardening feels like too much work, Folwell is now also participating in the Tiny Field project from Victory. This is a great opportunity for residents who want to explore gardening in their very own yard. The Tiny Fields project has 15 kits to give away to Folwell residents for free, but you must sign up! Chase McKay is organizing the efforts in Folwell. If you are interested in learning more, visit and/or email Chase at

Do you love to grow flowers or food? Be outside and enjoy the warmth? Meet neighbors and enjoy fresh picked vegetables together? To learn more about city plots available for gardens, growing initiatives, food justice, or connection to gardening resources, reach out to Dani who is heading up the Folwell Farmer Coalition. You can reach her at Or join the Folwell Neighborhood Facebook page for more info and updates around all the exciting growing efforts happening right in your own neighborhood!