Mayfair Garden was developed on 3 empty lots across the street from Mayfair Elementary School in East Cleveland, a struggling 1st tier suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, to primarily benefit the neighborhood children by teaching them how their food grows, introducing them to new foods, and provide increased fresh produce for them. Senior citizens and volunteers from the neighborhood, university, and private schools also work in the garden. We have been fortunate to have support from the OSU Extension, from local businesses, and from Neighborhood Connections, allowing us to grow grapes, strawberries, blueberries, red and black raspberries, various herbs, figs, asparagus, annual vegetables, many flowers, and to plant a variety of fruit trees. We plan to expand our area for annual vegetables this year, but that requires the creation of raised beds since our area for expansion was a parking lot.
The children have been expecially excited about the strawberries and blueberries. Since East Cleveland is a food desert, fresh fruits and vegetables are not reliably in their diets. In addition, many of our children qualify to have backpacks full of food sent home from school in order to assure that they have something to eat on the weekends when the free breakfasts, lunches, and snacks at school are not available. Having wonderful, fresh food is a huge advantage.
Science education is a weakness in our school system, so our children benefit from learning the biology related to growing food.
Fitness levels also improve with supervised outdoor activity.
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