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Farm in the City Harvest Festival | 2010-10-23

The Farm in the City community garden, located at 1211 Jo Johnston Ave., within view of I-40 and the State Capitol, celebrated a successful inaugural planting season and prepared gardeners for cold weather planting with a Fall Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 23.

After gardeners cleared their plots, Sharon Work, a Davidson County master gardener, led a session on cold-weather planting and Mayor Karl Dean joined the celebration to help plant turnip greens and shade trees. Free turnip green seeds were available to Farm in the City gardeners and other interested individuals.
“The Farm in the City has been a wonderful opportunity for our residents and others in Nashville's downtown,” said MDHA Executive Director Phil Ryan. “Nashvillians from all walks of life have come together for the original 'slow food' movement – growing your own food."
There are currently 37 individual plots, ranging in size from 4'x4' to 4'x16', in the approximately 2-acre Farm in the City space, all of which have been reserved since the project launched in the spring. Plots are made available to new gardeners as space becomes available. Over the summer, several hundred pounds of produce were grown and harvested, with crops ranging from cucumbers and tomatoes to cantaloupes, herbs and one brave, lone fig tree.
"What we do is grow, and then share what we grow with the community – particularly the elderly and handicapped," said Emilio Hughes (pictured above), a J. Henry Hale Apartments resident who's been instrumental in maintaining the gardens along with other members of the community's Resident Association. "We try to fill in the gaps for those who can't participate. I know I grow and share more than I can keep and cook for myself."

Mayor Karl Dean (left) speaks to community gardeners as MDHA Executive Director Phil Ryan (center) and horticulturalist Carl Pitchhford look on.

A young gardener (left) shows off sweet potatoes grown at Farm in the City; former Metro Councilman Ludye Wallace tends his crops.

MDHA's Farm in the City