- Since its foundation in January 2010, The Helping Hands Community Garden has been exclusively partnered with The Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center in promoting civic agriculture in our area. Together our main goal is to teach members of our community how to become more self-sufficient in their food production practices while simultaneously helping to provide those in need with access to healthy, organic, and fresh produce...WHICH IS A NATURAL RIGHT, AND NOT A PRIVILEGE! HHCG is located in the Old North neighborhood on the school-grounds of the Helping Hands Center for Special Needs. The garden is 100% volunteer operated and 90% of all produce grown is donated to the CRC's food pantry. The garden also facilitates a social and educational atmosphere, allowing those from a diversity of backgrounds and ages to become acquainted with their neighbors while learning sustainable food production practices. We also re-purpose as many previously discarded materials found within the area as possible, which in-turn uniquely beautify the landscape while creatively aiding in food production. We strive to make our neighborhood proud and hope that all of our efforts will set positive and creative examples for the rest of the community.
The garden was welcomed with open arms upon its formation last year, which was extremely encouraging! The Helping Hands Center, although not directly involved, enjoys the notion that its neighbors use the schoolyard as a social outlet after school hours, as well as beautifying what was once previously unused land left unattended. The schoolyard serves as a playground/recreation facility in the evening, in which many residents come to unwind with there families and friends. Many of which are very pleased to see that fellow residents have taken it upon themselves to revitalize the land, turning mundane lawns into food producing urban gardens that donates to a local pantry. Parents also enjoy the fact their children can observe how the food they buy at the grocers is actually grown. So much so that several families now have their own plots allowing their children to learn responsibility and take pride in growing their own food. This is very uplifting also because many households in the area don't have adequate growing space in their yards. Now people have the option to do so at HHCG. All of these are positives, but most importantly we assist our fellow community members that are going through rough times. It is extremely rewarding to aid people who want to provide themselves with the necessary sustenance to maintain a healthy living.
There are five separate garden plots totaling roughly 1,750 sq ft of viable growing space. Four out of the five plots are utilized as “food pantry plots”, while the remaining plot serves as space for the neighbors and volunteers living in the area to grow their own food. Differing from 2010 with only 7 garden volunteers, in 2011 HHCG had 23 weekly volunteers, several part-time volunteers and 5 neighborhood children that help out with the watering, weeding and any other needed maintenance within the garden. All parties involved come from very diverse backgrounds, all having the same unified goal to help those in need in the community.
We are extremely proud of the progress we have made over the last few years. In order to so do on a grander scale, however, we are in need of various resources and supplies that we are currently unable to afford. In years past, we have able to scrape by with a few tool and seed donations here and there, but nothing very substantial. We were able to generate $253 from a fundraiser benefiting the garden back in March of 2011. Every other acquisition we have been blessed with has come from the neighborhood's back alleys or had to come out of our own pockets. In order for us to be able to yield greater amounts of healthy produce for the CRC's food pantry, we need money to buy more tools, gardening supplies, and other resources to make this happen. All proceeds will go towards the purchasing of seeds and seedlings, gardening tools (trowels, gloves, shovels, hoes, rakes nails, screws, etc), materials for additional raised beds, painting supplies, organic soil/mulch/compost/fertilizers, and any fuel or transportation fees that are required of us. Our next big project will hopefully be the installation of our very own drip irrigation system for the garden as well as a hoop house (green house). Due to our lack of a constant water supply, we have been able to develop some creative means for water conservation. Necessity breeds ingenuity, but ingenuity can only take us so far if a basic need such as water is scarce. Hopefully, if all pans out, the additional raised beds built coupled with the newly installed drip-irrigation system will allow us to really utilize our given space and maximize our food production like never before.
We are hoping for all of our dreams and goals for the garden to come into fruition for the 2012 growing season. If we are able to maintain the garden's momentum, continue with our success and potentially maximize our productivity and future harvests, there is no telling how much more we can positively impact the Old North and Clintonville communities. The sky is the limit, but we can not do it alone. We need to keep our neighborhoods unified, educated, happy and fed. With your aid, we'll be sure to get off to a great start to make this happen for ourselves, our community, and our city. Thank you.
People/organizations that helped with our genesis and continued development since the spring of 2010: Christine Annarino, Sharee Brandler (director), Mike and the rest of the staff at Helping Hands Center, all of our friends at The Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resource Center, Green Columbus, Kurtz Brothers, Keep Columbus Beautiful, Rebuilding Together Central Ohio, Local Matters, Susannah Evans & Penny Upp with Ever-Green Gardening Ministries, Peggy Murphy with Highland Youth Garden, Franklinton Gardens, Greater Columbus Growing Coalition, Bill Dawson with Franklin Park Conservatory, Doug at the Lowe’s location on Silver Dr., Michael Contino with On Target Performance Group, Steve Blake with Curves and More LLC , Warren and Ivy Lory, Organ Grinder Productions, Iggy Garcia with Condor Eagle Chapter House of the Nemenhah, Art Party Columbus, Peace House Columbus, Cooper State Bank.
2010 Volunteers/Contributors: Haley Doerr, Antonio Jara, Carl Schreiber, Laddan Shoar, Christine Happel, Jonathan Duffy, Corrin Walters, Eliah Daugherty, Christine Annarino, Carolyn Rund, Mike Szuter, Wesley Barlage, Lori Abel, Laddan Shoar, Erin Gray, Sarah Filanowski, Joseph Santtavicca, Pants Hribar, Jesse Baker, Janet Kellstadt, Weslie Coleman, Christina Verhoff, Jayme Richards, Adam Fleischer and his daughter Hana, Katie Forbes, Pam Jones & Ashley Nardi.
2011 Earth Day Sponsor: On Target Performance Group
2011 Volunteers/Contributors: Sarah Scission, Stephanie Cedeno, Laddan Shoar, Antonio Jara, Sarah Irons. Tara Young, Kori Berman, Rhamey Sayed, Christine Annarino, Florence Jain, Lauren Strawn, Rebin Zangana, Emily Dockery, Terry Bowman, Will Smelser, Nick Orchard, Tom Over, Tara Ritter, Tom Stemberski, Adam Tuttle, Mia Hwang, Michael Willis, Carl Schreiber, Nathalia Stein, Katie Adams, Jayme Richards, Adam Fleischer and his daughter Hana, Lauren Paglisotti, Bob Thomas, Brandi & Mike Sauter, Bryan Wallace, Joanna Schroeder, Karri Smith, Kelly Fuller, Michael Contino, Katie & Neal Clements, Rodney Nussbaum, Megan Dunlap, Eva Sonnenberg, Sarah Mase, Stephanie Craddock Sherwood, Tina Vance, Shyla P., Shannon P., Kayla P., and Quentin P.
A FULL-HEARTED AND SINCERE THANK YOU GOES OUT TO EVERYONE THAT MADE THE HELPING HANDS COMMUNITY GARDEN BENEFIT SHOW A COMPLETE SUCCESS! SO MUCH HARD WORK, PREPARATION, AND DEDICATION WENT INTO THIS EVENT BY SO MANY OF OUR VOLUNTEERS, SPONSORS, PARTNERS, MUSICIANS AND COMMUNITY AT LARGE. THOUGH THIS WAS A GARDEN FUNDRAISER, THE MAIN AIM WAS TO FURTHER SOLIDIFY THE EXISTING SOCIAL COHESION IN OUR CITY, BUILDING AND STRENGTHENING OUR COLUMBUS COMMUNITY. AND THAT’S WHAT WE ACCOMPLISHED, NOT TO MENTION THAT WE RAISED OVER $1500 WHILE DOING SO. ONCE AGAIN, MUCH APPRECIATION, GRATITUDE, AND CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL PARTIES INVOLVED. WE DID IT!
2012 HHCC BENEFIT SHOW SPONSORS & PARTNERSHIPS:
CLINTONVILLE-BEECHWOLD COMMUNITY RESOURCES CENTER
CLINTONVILLE COMMUNITY MARKET
FULL CIRCLE SOIL COOPERATIVE
GREEN THUMB REVOLUTION
THE GREENER GROCER
PABST BLUE RIBBON
WCBE 90.5 FM
WILD GOOSE CREATIVE
AUDREY & ORWELL
ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTING LOCAL BUSINESSES, ENTREPRENEURS & ORGANIZATIONS
4 HANDS MASSAGE
ART PARTY COLUMBUS
BROTHERS DRAKE MEADERY
COLUMBUS ART MUSEUM
CURRENTS ENERGY MASSAGE
EXCESSS KARAOKE/CAT DVD
FULL CIRCLE SOIL COOPERATIVE
GARCIA’S INTERNAZIONALE RESTAURANT
NEAR EAST FOOD COOPERATIVE
OPEN SKY DAY SPA
PEARLS OF WISDOM
SMALL BUSINESS BEANSTALK
URBAN ACUPUNCTURE CENTER
ADDITIONAL SPECIAL THANKS:
ALLISON D SMITH
2012 Earth Day Sponsor: Columbus Food League; Oakland Park Nursery
2012 Volunteers/Contributors: Carl Schreiber, Nathalia Stein, Ingrid Loesch, Jessica Beardsley, Lillitu Shahar-Kunning, Jessica Whitney, Kori Berman, Lauren Paglisotti, Lauren Lever, Lauren Strawn, Molly Adams, Mia Hwang, Adam Tuttle, Jakub Lenhard, Kelly Fuller
Helping Hands Center for Special Needs:
Our main current sponsors:
Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resource Center http://clintonvillecrc.org/dcms/
Green Thumb Revolution
Mon – Fri: 4:00 pm – Dusk
Sat – Sun: Dawn – Dusk
- Derek S. Lory
- "We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon, and we got to get ourselves back to the GARDEN."
“There is no right way to give out food. There is only giving out all the food you can" - Kathy Mitro
"I have learned, as a rule of thumb, never to ask whether you can do something. Say, instead, that you are doing it. Then fasten your seat belt. The most remarkable things follow." – Julia Cameron
"In a gift society, if you have more than you need, you give it to somebody who needs it…that’s where security comes from, because if you build up all that gratitude people are going to take care of you, too. And if there are no gifts, there is no community, and we can see as society’s become more monetized that community has disappeared. People long for it but you can’t just have community as an add-on to a monetized life. You have to actually need each other." - Charles Eisenstein
“Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say 'We have done this ourselves.”
― Lao Tzu