Turn The Tide Experimental Garden
The Turn The Tide Experimental Garden is a project of the Cumberland County Long Term Recovery Group, in partnership with Occupy Sandy New Jersey, and Old World Seed Cooperative & Experimental Farm Network. It will serve as a food-producing community garden for southern Cumberland County, NJ—a disaster affected food desert—while providing useful data as part of the new Experimental Farm Network toward the creation of new crops and agricultural systems designed to mitigate or even reverse the effects of climate change.
Cumberland is particularly vulnerable to climate change, situated as it is on slowly sinking land along the not-so-slowly rising Delaware Bay. Our marshy coast, studded with winding rivers, osprey nests, and oyster beds, is mostly uninhabited. Once home to a thriving fishing and agricultural community, the economy bottomed out decades ago after the oyster industry first crashed. Now we face our biggest test yet with sea-level rise. By creating a showcase garden and participating in the breeding and other experimental trials of the EFN, we hope to be a part of the solution to climate change, instead of its inevitable victims.
Though our organization's primary function is to coordinate our community's recovery to Superstorm Sandy, this project well fits the stated purpose of our group (CCLTRG Operating Procedures, Article 2, Section 4): "to enhance resiliency and preparedness for future disasters that may hit Cumberland County."
We plan to also focus on seed-saving and especially preserving varieties indigenous to our area (including the very rare Nanticoke Indian squash, Lenape sehsapsing corn, and historic locally developed Campbell's Soup Company varieties). We also hope to become a hub for local growers to deposit their favorite pest-resistent or salt-tolerant local strains for future use.
[All plants featured in photos were grown in existing Experimental Farm Network gardens in NJ or Pennsylvania in 2013.]
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
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Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA