Famicos Foundation Engagement Garden
The Engagement Garden began as a garden for Famicos Foundation employees, however over time it evolved into a community garden. Located in a region deemed by the USDA as a food desert, the site was originally a home adjacent to a gas station. The structure on the land was eventually cleared due to neglect, and the site remained vacant for some time. Although Famicos owned and maintained the lot, there was no end use plan.
The vacant lot was viewed as unproductive and provided a hub for loitering and crime. However, there is a community unlike anywhere else on that block: Ms. Mary, who lives two doors down from the garden and keeps an eye on the children dropped off by the school bus as they walk home, and Ms. Rabbit, a neighbor who lives down the street, both regularly visit and help out in the garden.
The Engagement Garden is maintained and cared for by at-risk youth interns, the Famicos staff, and community volunteers. Although it’s been in operation for less than a full year, The Engagement Garden has become a gathering place where anyone can stop by, say “hi,” exchange recipes, and socialize, and it gives youth an opportunity to grow traditional foods and learn how to garden. It’s estimated that this single site yielded approximately 450 pounds of food in one season, but the Famicos Green Team has high expectations for the future.
The Garden has plans to be a demo-garden that will show community members how to utilize compost bins and rain barrels in their own homes next season, as well as provide hands-on gardening classes for community members at no cost. Seeds will be given away at Gateway 105 Farmers’ Market, and food grown will go directly to the community, also free of charge.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA