In the Spring of 2011, we obtained two new garden spaces. First, our main garden moved from its original location at 11th and Berks to its current location at Broad and Norris Streets. Second, the responsibility of maintaining the Sonia Sanchez Garden, located at Diamond and Carlisle, was transferred from its former owner to Temple Community Garden. These two new locations have opened up many opportunities for the organization. We now compost at both sites.
In the fall of 2011, we began gardening with residents of Project Home’s supportive housing residence Kairos House. Project Home is an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Residents visit our gardens on a weekly basis to spend time among the plants, tidy up the space, and tend to their bed in our vegetable garden. This program continues to be one of our strongest partnerships; in the summer of 2013, the Kairos House gardeners harvested a hearty bounty from their bed. They brought about 2-3 lbs of cherry tomatoes and string beans back to their chef at Broad and Jefferson each week.
During the 2012 growing season, we received some wonderful donations for our gardens. We acquired two sheds for the Main Garden from Temple University Facilities, and Nice Roots Farm donated a collection of perennials which transplanted into the Sonia Sanchez Garden.Every semester since TCG was established, we host a Feast to raise funds for the organization. This event has gained popularity over the years and attracts over 100 new and returning supporters of TCG each semester. In the 2012-2013 academic school year, we directed funds from the Feast toward a stipend for a student’s independent study to improve our after school community program and a fund for a re-design project in the Sonia Sanchez Garden.
Spring 2013 focused on increasing our vegetable production in the Main Garden, developing our landscape in Sonia Sanchez Garden, and continuing our after school program despite the construction at Penrose Rec Center. Since the Penrose program was put on hiatus, we developed partnerships with Youth for Change at Amos Rec Center and classes at Duckery Elementary. Preparation began to move the garden site to increase the visibility and capacity of our organization.