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Community Gardens?


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One thing you give up in urban neighborhoods are large home lots. I've recently gotten hooked on herb gardening and also love to grow my own organic veggies (tomatoes especially). I've been looking into the location of Farmer's Markets and community gardens in Jax for a while. Of course I know there are many fine grocery stores - but have you ever noticed how Publix produce tastes.. bland. I don't know what they do to it but locally grown or home grown is what I prefer when possible.

The UF extension school seems pretty active in helping people establish urban community gardens - an area of land, sometimes city-owned, that has been cleared to use for gardens. People from the neighborhood can claim a small plot for the season and grow whatever they want for their personal use. Sometimes the food is given to local schools or needy families, which I think is a great cause too. The UF Urban Gardening Program Ass't in Jax told me there are 5 such gardens in the area:

>>Yes we do have 5 active community gardens in Jacksonville. They're

located near the following areas

1. Superior Street (westside)

2. Lawnview and Hamilton Street (Murry Hill)

3. NAS Jax (military base)

4. 20th and Buckman Street (Talleyrand)

5. University Club and Fort Caroline (Arlington area)

I'm curious - has anyone here seen these? And are there any besides these that anyone is aware of??

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I just wanted to chime in and mention how much I love the aesthetic of community gardens. They are all over the place in Europe, and they are quite nice. (Although I think Europe must manage them differently, because American community gardens often seem messy or fallow. I suspect it's because many American inner-city gardens are communally owned by civic groups, while the European versions appear to be a series of private fenced-off plots with continuous individual ownership) Anyway, it sounds like these Jacksonville ones are of the latter variety as well.

Hopefully, the general Downtown area will eventually have a decent sized community garden somewhere. (I think near railroad tracks are often a good solution). But for now, it's really a moot point. Jacksonville doesn't yet have enough urban dwellers to demand a city-sponsored endeavor. Most people, even in the streetcar suburbs, have backyards.

Ironically, perhaps the unmet demand for community gardens might be highest out in the Southside/9a area. They probably have the highest saturation of Apartment/Condo complexes where people don't have yards.

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Or walk in on nights when they have free admission to the entire museum & gardens (at least once per week).

The Cummer is a truly fantastic museum to have in town. It's really quite special. Any time a travel book actually has an entry on Jacksonville, the Cummer is the FIRST thing they mention, for good reason. Anyone from Jax reading this who hasn't been ... go!! It's free on certain nights. Just check the website. You have no excuse.

Sorry, that was really off topic, but worth ranting about...

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