Hi All,

With spring in full swing, it’s certainly time for an update on the Southside Community Gardens (SCG) project, an outgrowth of Lehigh’s South Side Initiative (SSI).

Remember that you can keep up with and contribute to community gardens developments here. We welcome your comments, thoughts, suggestions, ideas, and more.

I’d also like to call a general SCG meeting to take stock of where we are: what garden sites are still to be developed, what are the needs for up-and-running gardens, and what should we be thinking about for spring-summer 2011 and beyond. That meeting will be next Wednesday, May 12th, at 7:00 p.m., on the first floor of Maginnes Hall, Lehigh University. And from now on, we’ll have regular SCG meetings on the second Wednesday of each month.

Two Saturdays ago, a number of people came together and built a garden at Ullman Park! There are presently eight 4′ x 10′ raised beds at Ullman, filled with soil mix, and a good group of neighborhood residents and Lehigh students who are starting to plant. Ida Womer is the Ullman Garden leader; a security fence and water source are in the works.  A huge thank you to SUN*LV,  led by Lou Cinquino, for the bed materials and planning.  SUN*LV’s Steve Weiss was great in leading the construction. Special thanks to Scott Meyer and Blaine Waide for working through the day. And Ralph Carp and the City’s Parks Dept. have been crucial of course in providing the garden site along with soil and other materials.

Lehigh has given its approval for a community garden on its Goodman campus, located on the south side of South Mountain. Lehigh students, faculty, and staff are currently signing up for plots. Planting will begin in late May. In addition to personal use, produce from the Lehigh Community Garden will go to Southside food banks, will be sold at farmers markets, and may be distributed to the university’s food services.

After a good potluck dinner at Roberto Clemente Park, SCG continues to sign up Lynfield residents for a community garden at the bottom of the park. If you’re interested at this effort, you can sign up on the SCG website, or contact me, John Pettegrew, at 610-390-8970.

Finally, this Friday evening, the First Friday of May, SCG people will be gathering at the Maze Garden on 3rd Street between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. A potluck dinner and music are being planned. For more information about the Maze Garden (if you are interested in working in that garden this year), contact Chris Addy, <cwa210@lehigh.edu>.

Happy Spring,


Please join us at 5:30 p.m. (or later) tonight at the base of Roberto Clemente Park for a Southside Community Gardens potluck dinner. See previous posts below for more details.

Directions to Roberto Clemente Park: go over the Lynn Ave. Bridge (the rickety looking steel bridge just east of the Casino off Rt. 412). Go to the top of the hill and look for Lynfield on the left. Turn there and you will see the community center ahead on the right. The garden space is there.

So far we know we have a main dish of rice with vegetables, a green salad, new potato curry, carrot cake, and one person is bringing a beverage.  Please add to this mix if you can; and, in any event, come and visit over food during what looks to be a nice, clear evening.

Please call John Pettegrew at 610 390-8970 with any questions.

We hope to see you tonight!

Hi All,

Please join us for a spring potluck dinner this Monday evening at the bottom of Roberto Clemente Park (directions are below, in the April 12th post).  Starting time is 5:30, but feel free to stop by later if you like.

The Southside Community Gardens (SCG) project is coming together this spring. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park garden is full, with community gardeners working 12 plots. And the Maze Garden on 3rd Street has a good core of people, with plenty of room for more gardeners; there’s a work date there this Saturday morning starting at 10:00 a.m.; the contact person is Lehigh student Chris Addy, email <cwa210@lehigh.edu>, cell phone 484-809-2454. The garden at Ullman Park is close to being set: SUN*LV is building eight raised beds, with a work date set there for next Saturday morning, April 24th; there may still be space available at Ullman – if you are interested, please contact me, John Pettegrew, immediately, at 610-390-8970. Donegan Elementary School is working with SCG on a raised-bed school garden; contact person for the Donegan garden is Lehigh graduate student Chiharu Tokura, <cht2@lehigh.edu>. And Broughal Middle School students are planting seeds in their greenhouse; container gardens are being discussed as a first step there.

Plans are also well underway for a Lehigh Community Garden on the university’s Goodman Campus, located south of South Mountain.

With the help of Bethlehem’s Citizens’ Academy and others, SCG is now focusing on organizing a community garden at the bottom of Roberto Clemente Park, next to the Lynfield housing development, on the east side of South Mountain. That’s the occasion for the potluck dinner this Monday night. We also want to have a time to get together, compare notes, and enjoy home cooked food and hopefully the good spring weather. Please join us and bring a dish or non-alcoholic drink to share. Here’s a flier with more details.

Also, please join us Wednesday evening, April 21st, for a free showing of the film Food, Inc., nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Film. It’s showing at 6:30 p.m., at Whitaker 303, on Lehigh’s lower campus. This is the final screening in the Food Film Series. Check out the trailer below!

Please contact me if you have any questions.

John Pettegrew

Here are a few links that members of the Southside Community Gardens project have recently shared with me, and which are likely to be of interest to friends, members, and supporters of the SCG project, along with people interested in urban agriculture, sustainability, food studies, community gardening, and much more.

Eden Hall Farm

First, here is an article about Alice Julier, the director of the new Master of Arts in Food Studies program at Pittsburgh’s Chatham University. The new program is unique in the field of food  studies because it has Eden Hall Farm, located on the college’s Richland campus, as a resource – a working environment where students will be able to gain hands-on experiences with sustainable agriculture in the field. Much like our efforts on Bethlehem’s Southside, Julier approaches the work of her program with her eyes set on revitalizing Pittsburgh, as the city tries to shake off the effects of its industrial past.

And Lou Cinquino of SUN*LV shared this link with us, from the American Community Garden Association listserv, which includes a collection of documents from the Plattsburgh (N.Y.) Community Garden Group that together demonstrate the various stages of a city-based community gardens program, like we hope the SCG can possibly become. While these documents are probably not all be relevant to our project at this time, they may prove beneficial to group members, or regular readers of this blog, who are involved in other projects. Some of these documents may also be more applicable to the SCG project in later stages of our development.

Please mark down next Monday’s potluck dinner from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Roberto Clemente Park, located just off 412 between Southside Bethlehem and Hellertown, on your calendars (there is a link to a map below, in a previous posting). Plans are coming together, and this outdoor event should be a great opportunity for members of the Southside Community Gardens project to get together on an early spring evening to eat good food (and possibly listen to music) while making new friends and discussing the benefits of a community garden at Roberto Clemente Park with people from nearby neighborhoods. Everyone is welcome, and if you can bring a dish or non-alcoholic beverage to share, all the better.

As always, we hope to see or hear from you soon.  Please feel free to contact us at <southsidecommunitygardens@gmail.com> if you have any questions or need any additional information.