Work Party: July 31 5:30-8:30PM

An Example of our "No-Bend" Bed courtesy of Gardeners.com

An Example of our “No-Bend” Bed courtesy of Gardeners.com

Crowley Station Community Garden will be hosting another work party on Thursday, July 31, 2014 from 5:30-8:30PM. For this event we will be building our last raised bed, Doty St. All members and friends of the garden are welcome to attend and help out with this event. We are also asking for use of a cordless drill and more buckets, as we have to fill the bed by hand.

This raised bed is quite special. It is called a “no-bend” bed. It will be sitting on a raised stand that allows the gardener to use the bed without having to bend over and put extra stress on their back.If our garden did not have steps leading up to it, a person who used a wheel chair would be able to easily garden in this “no-bend” bed unlike the other raised beds. It also allows someone to place a stool or chair by the bed while they are weeding or planting thus eliminating the need to put stress on their back, knees, ect. Placing a bed a at different height also brings the garden new depths and elements of design that is critical in making an urban garden inviting and engaging. This bed will serve the garden in a host of splendid ways!

Now, it might seem silly to go to all this effort.┬áHowever, community gardens are places where the public can explore the many varied issues around food including how accessibility plays a role in the availability of healthy food. Members of our community who live with accessibility issues, like seniors, are at an increased risk of also being food insecure. Having access to a community garden can help those members increase the amount of healthy food that is available to them. Yet, it doesn’t do any good to have the gardening experience be painful or impossible! A “no-bend” bed is just one solution among many that helps a community garden be more welcoming to the many diverse members of its community. Other solutions include: paths that are wheel chair accessible meaning that they are large enough for a wheel chair to go through and smooth enough not to get stuck, hanging containers, extra seating and shading for members to rest during the harsh summer months, easy access to water through light-weight hoses, and more. We hope that our first “no-bend” bed encourages other community gardens to think about accessibility issues and discover new solutions.

Community Gardens are only as strong as the diversity and empowerment of its members. Our neighborhoods are not made up of only one type of person and neither should our gardens!

2014 Build Weekend

Many members of the community have been working tirelessly to lay the foundation for Madison’s newest community garden, Crowley Station Community Garden. This process has taken months. Meetings filled with design details and policy development went well into the April and May of this year. Some gardeners were beginning to wonder if anything would get planted this year at all!

Finally, on June 25 we got the materials needed to build our community garden. A call went out to registered members of the garden and the community for a Build Day on June 27 from 3-8PM. Twelve people showed up and got busy putting out beds from NaturalYards.com together. That was the easy part! We then started to move 13 tons of organic soil, by hand, up a small hill, up some steps, and into the beds. One day was not going to be enough! Saturday work continued for another five hours ending right before people began to find places for Madison’s Rhythm and Booms. The job was completed on Sunday at 5PM. A one day project turned into a whole weekend.

I think it can be safely said that all those hours of endless work were worth it! The garden looks beautiful. Many neighbors are already commenting on how wonderful the space looks now. Great things are going to grow in this garden. Please follow us to read the stories of our community garden and the gardeners who create it!

CSCG Build Weekend 2014