Community supported urban agriculture is an idea that’s been taking root in neighborhoods across Rochester for several years now. Brian Pettit and his partner Eugene are disabled veterans who have been working to convert empty lots near Rochester’s public market into community gardens. They dubbed their first garden lot “2nd Chance Central Park” because of its location (2nd Street & Central Park), its rejuvenating impact on the neighborhood, as well as the recycled materials in use.
This “2nd Chance” garden had been producing heirloom tomatoes, peppers and potatoes since 2009 until it was accidentally bulldozed by the City last Spring. And suddenly the name has taken on a whole new meaning…
Brian had a permit for gardening on the lot, but he says City workers mistook his empty tire planters (used for potatoes) as an unauthorized dump site. Not bothering to cross-check their work order, the workers unknowingly scooped away two years worth of compost chock full of Brian’s heirloom seeds. Hoses, tools, fencing, tires, tarps, and all sorts of innovative little pieces and parts of the previous years garden… were all gone.
As Brian explains in his blog , he didn’t get angry. He just asked if he could start over. Brian and Eugene have already begun to rebuild 2nd Chance garden. And, as sort of an apology for wrecking it, the City offered them a second double lot across the street. So this year they’re looking for some extra hands to bring both of these urban spaces to life.
“I have four full 75-variety heirloom seed kits and a whole good start on compost, as well as permacultured soil to transplant.” Brian says he would love to be able to name this project “Ecopy Rochester” as the first in a series of working camps and community collaboration projects to encourage neighbors to become more interconnected with each other and create a more self-sustaining neighborhood.
If you’d like to help out…
Brian is organizing a Growing Season Kick-off event on Sunday, April 29 at 9:00am. Anyone willing to get their hands dirty is invited to meet up on the grassy lot at 259 Central Park. See the map below, and please share the event on Facebook .
Brian and Eugene have plenty of gardening and building tools, but they could use help gathering other materials used for starting seeds, water collection and garden hardscaping. If you have any of the following stuff, please bring it with you on April 30 :
- Paper towel tubes
- Discarded tires (any size)
- Corrugated cardboard (cheapest, most eco-friendly weedblock on the planet)
- Newspapers (for weedblock & earthworm bedding)
- Old tarps
- Garden hoses and seeper hoses
- Stockade or picket fencing (for compost pit)
- Large pieces of fabric (for ‘sprucing up’ appearances of junk tires as planters)
- Latex paint (any color)
- 55 gal. plastic drums (non-toxic, food storage type)
- Gutter and downspout parts
Here are a few more photos from 2nd Chance Central Park…
Ready, set, GROW Rochester!
Tags: 2nd Chance Central Park, 2nd Chance Community Garden, Brian Pettit, Central Park, community gardening, Ecopy Rochester, Rochester Public Market, sustainability, urban agriculture, urban gardening
This entry was posted on Saturday, April 21st, 2012 at 1:42 pm and is filed under Events, Rochester News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
Hope to see people at the PROPOSED new site (I don’t want to presume what the decision from the city will be), it will be the amount of turn-out that ultimately determines the success, and there are plenty of other alternative sites, the goal is to get people accustomed and actively involved in the current community garden processes that are afforded to us all as citizens of this “Flour/Flower City”, and form new community collaboration efforts on a variety of fronts.