Welcome to the Southside Community Gardens Blog!
Having worked on the southside of Bethlehem as the Managing Editor of Sing Out! magazine (a not-for-profit folk music publication) for over 3 years, I am excited to be participating in an effort to revitalize the area’s environment and economy through community-run urban gardens, and to do so with an appreciation for the creativity and vitality of cultural practice. Aside from my familiarity with the issues confronting Bethlehem’s southside, my interest in the project stems from my background as a folklorist, and my admittedly amateur and small-scale experience planting a garden every summer, which has introduced me to the joys of cooking with food I have grown. As a folklorist, I value interactions and social networks where individuals meet their material and cultural needs by way of goods, services, and expressive practices (music, art, crafts, food, etc.) produced and acquired through community-based activity, face-to-face relationships, and traditional cultural practices, including foodways, all of which serve to strengthen the bonds of community and enrich the quality of everyday life. I am honored that John Pettegrew, Director of Lehigh University’s South Side Initiative, has asked me to contribute to the Southside Community Gardens.
Though we are still in the organizational phase of this project (as of December 2009), anyone interested should feel free to contact me to learn more about reserving a spot in one of our community gardens, which we will have planted in time for Spring 2010. The gardens will be located at the following four parks on the southside of Bethlehem: Ullman Park, the Maze Garden, Roberto Clemente Park, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. In order to reserve a spot, we are asking for a nominal fee (probably $5) to signify your commitment to work the space. While we cannot promise which park your spot will be located in, it is our goal to provide you with a plot of land in the garden that is located most conveniently for you. Each garden will have equipment and tools, and there will be a manager responsible for each location.
To learn more information, to inquire about reserving a space, and to have your contact information added to our e-mail list so you will receive announcements about upcoming meetings, events, and developments as we have more specific information about the process involved in receiving a plot, please contact me at 570-540-0239 (after 5 p.m. if possible) or firstname.lastname@example.org. And, at any stage in this ongoing project, we encourage you to offer your voice and perspective by contributing to this blog.
Thanks for your interest in our project. I look forward to planting a garden with you in 2010.
Blaine Waide, Editor