Please join us tomorrow, Tuesday April 6th, at 5:30 p.m. in the Banana Factory’s Crayola Gallery for discussion and updates about the Southside Community Gardens project.  Also, Meagan Grega, M.D., of the Kellyn Foundation, will give a short presentation about the role of nutrition in fighting the obesity epidemic. Fresh fruit, cheese, and spring water will be served.

The Banana Factory is located at 25 W. Third St. in Bethlehem, Pa., and is easily accessible from I-78 and Routes 22, 378 and 412. For questions about tomorrow night and about the Southside Community Gardens project, call John Pettegrew at (610)390-8970.

Then, on Wednesday, the fourth film in the Food Film Series will be screened. This week we’re honored to be joined by filmmaker Natasha Dow Schüll as she presents her film Buffet: All You Can Eat Las Vegas, and leads an audience discussion afterwards. This film will be shown at 6:30 p.m. in Whitakeer Laboratory, room 303, on the Lehigh campus. For a full listing of the film series, check out our flier. Here are directions to Whitaker Laboratory.

We hope to see you soon!

The next Southside Community Gardens meeting will be Tuesday, April 6th, from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the Banana Factory on Southside Bethlehem. (A previous post indicated that the meeting would be from 7 – 9 p.m., but this was a mistake. I apologize for any confusion this error may have caused.)  The evening’s purpose is multi-faceted: to continue outreach with southside residents who may want to garden a plot; to sign the people up who have already expressed interest; to start to organize the leadership and design of the different gardens – with Maze and Roberto Clemente in most need next week; and, generally, to provide occasion for members of the Southside Community Gardens (SCG) project to come together in comfortable environs and further imagine and plan for this spring, summer, and fall.

While plans for next week’s meeting are still being finalized, we hope to be joined by Dr. Meagan Grega from St. Luke’s Hospital. Dr. Grega’s work addresses childhood obesity issues, and she stresses the need for better decision-making skills in the areas of nutrition and exercise. Her perspective will underline the nutrition-health component of our project, and establish the connections between the benefits of urban community gardens and larger health concerns people confront in their daily lives, such as childhood obesity, nutrition and dietary habits, the need for an active lifestyle, and food safety.

The meeting will also provide an opportunity for people to confirm their plot reservation by signing the one-page “agreement” document, to get further information about the project as a whole, and to gather into groups and figure out any practical questions or concerns regarding the next steps for the garden where they have reserved a plot. And people will have the chance to share any announcements with the group.

Finally, we have made progress on several important logistic matters since we last met: the one-page “agreement” document was printed today, March 30th, and the SCG brochure will finally be ready early next week.

Next week’s meeting is an important event. We will be less than two weeks away from building the gardens, and this informal get together is going to be one final opportunity to meet as a group – and to get to know each other – before we begin the work (and fun!) of growing fresh food together in Bethlehem’s Southside.

I will post complete details about the meeting in the coming days.

We hope to see you there!

If you cannot make it, please contact us at <southsidecommunitygardens@gmail.com>, or 570-540-0239, and we will be sure to keep you updated about developments as the exciting day of planting our gardens approaches.