DescriptionGardeners have tended to the land of what is today Awbury Community Garden since it was first an allotment garden under the auspices of Philadelphia's Vacant Lots Cultivation Association in the Great Depression and a Victory Garden in World War II. But the prolific bounty at Awbury today stems from a garden began in 1974. "Most of the gardeners were relatively new at gardening," recalls Richard Reasoner, who joined the garden in its second year and has been gardening there since. The garden then was ten raised beds and about ten other plots, all "mostly vegetables" with "flowers out front" of the garden. The Pennsylvania State University Cooperative Extension established the garden as a Demonstration Garden in 1976. Though the garden briefly relocated during master plan renovations at Awbury Arboretum in 1998, it has not stopped operating since. Today, the garden has over sixty plots including twenty raised beds surrounded by native trees, an orchard, and sitting areas. The garden holds an annual cookout and a weekly farmer's market during the harvest season. "The worst day in the garden...is better than the best day at the job," says Eldredge "Rags" Ragsdale, seasoned gardener and garden president. With the help of the sixty-odd gardeners and many volunteers, Awbury Community Garden will remain a revitalizing space for the years to come.
Story contributed by Joe M.