Grow Annapolis: a community garden project
Photo credit: Baltimore Sun/Susan Reimer
You never know where you will stumble on a vegetable garden.
I was in downtown Annapolis Friday, reporting on the non-event that Hurricane Earl became, when I saw what I was sure was a vegetable garden on the grounds of the old Annapolis Rec Center.
Sure enough. Behind a sign that read "Annapolis Grows," were rows of tomatoes, herbs, melons, peppers and more.
The gardens resulted from negotiations with Annapolis City officials, who agreed to allow the building grounds to be planted.
Located at City Dock, across the street from the playground, the soil around the old, and currently empty, building turned out to be quite fertile, said Joel Bunker, who was watering his plot and others.
About 20 yards of Leafgro was donated and added, a fence was donated as well, and 20 gardeners began planting this summer.
For some, the garden represents needed access to healthy food. For others, condo or apartment dwellers, the garden is a chance to, well, garden.
A waiting list for a plot to cultivate quickly grew, and so another garden was opened behind the Rec Building and plots were assigned.
Bunker said the faculty at nearby Greene Street Elementary School is talking to Annapolis Grows about starting a vegetable garden with, and for, their students.
And the group is looking at other sites around the city for community gardens, including near some of Annapolis' poorest communities. The City Dock garden, he hopes, is just the beginning.
The plots "rent" for $35, but there is money for those who need it.
Just outside the fence, another garden was planted for "gleaning." Passersby are welcome to help themselves to the produce from this garden, Bunker said.
"We hope that means the plots inside the fence will be respected."
There was a happy serendipity to my discovery of this garden.
Years ago, I took my toddler daughter to the Rec Building while I did aerobics. Later, she learned to play basketball there.
Now, I am a garden writer and the Rec Center is a garden.