By Annie Kinnett Nichols
Community gardens are starting to flourish around Intown, but Edgewood Community Learning Garden in partnership with the Wylde Center is not just a garden – it’s a destination.
Located at the corner of Hardee Street and Mayson Avenue, the greenspace might be mistaken for a local park with its playground, benches and gazebo. But take a closer look and you’ll spot chickens, bees and tidy gardens growing all sorts of tasty vegetables. I met up with Monica Ponce, the manager of the garden, and got schooled on what the Edgewood Garden is up to.
Ponce said each busload of students that visit the garden brings new opportunities to educate kids about things they are already learning in the classroom. For instance, if students are studying George Washington Carver they can tie in his background of botany and inventions to the garden. History, science, politics and the weather can also be tied with a visit to the garden.
Meanwhile, Ponce said the garden also educates kids on where there food comes from. School field trips to the garden yield awareness that carrots come from under the ground and chicken eggs come from a chicken not a carton.
“Today’s city children don’t always understand that they can easily grow a garden of their own and eat fresh veggies that they planted,” Ponce said.
The Edgewood garden uses all natural resources including two beehives that are located in the chicken coop. The chickens help the bees survive by eating beetles that get into the hive and destroy it. The healthy bees then pollinate the garden and keep it growing. They also make yummy honey and the kids can see that honey comes from bees instead of the grocery store.
The beautiful garden has also brought the neighborhood together as a place to relax and have fun. The playground was built to entice moms and wee ones to come to the garden as well. It’s open from dawn to dusk and most mornings you will see Ponce pulling weeds, watering chickens, and working the garden.
Grab your brood and come out and see for yourself on Sunday, May 17, when the garden will host the Spring Sprout Festival from 1 to 4 p.m. The event will feature games, crafts, a DS, pizza and popsicles from King of Pops.
To learn more about the Edgewood Garden, visit wyldecenter.org/edgewood-community-learning-garden.