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Community Garden Series #2: Innovation & Friendship at Elm Park School Community Garden

Visiting the Elm Park School Community Garden is similar to taking in a carefully crafted art mosaic- individual pieces coming together to create a perfectly imperfect whole.

These Worcester gardeners took time this summer to innovate their gardens’ geography- placing annual flowers amidst the fruit trees and perennial pollinators around the perimeter of their space. They also built a community herb bed for all to enjoy, featuring thyme, oregano, lavender, rosemary, parsley, chives, basil, mint, cilantro and dill. Gearing up for winter, they used knowledge absorbed from an REC Cover Crop Workshop to plant rye and are also planting garlic for the first time. (Phew, that's a lot!)

There are so many beautiful, moving parts to the Elm Park School Community Garden garden- it's easy to get lost among the fruit, vegetables and flowers. However, the human story of the neighborhood gardeners is also one to be inspired by.

Kelsey, a first season gardener within the REC network, spoke of the multigenerational, cross cultural friendships she has made through her urban gardening experience. People who have lived in the same building or on the same street for years and never connected, now laughing together dawning matching, sparkly cowboy hats and celebrating their locally grown produce.

Marie, Ellen, Kelsey and Pat; ranging from years of garden experience in Sierra Leone to first season planters.

Ellen echoed this sentiment, “I have met many neighbors and community members all of whom are appreciative of the garden's progress in terms of benefitting the neighborhood. My favorite story from this year is when one of the new gardeners saw her first seedlings bearing fruit - she was so excited and exclaimed "I didn't think anything was actually going to grow!"”

This is a place where Worcester community members come together to celebrate one another’s ideas, knowledge, and successes. We recommend swinging by the garden for a lesson on nourishing relationships: between the plants and the pollinators, the fresh food and the gardeners, and maybe most importantly, between new found friends.

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