Unseasonably soggy weather couldn’t dampen Sankofa residents’ resolve to get their hands a little dirty! As part of an ongoing community garden project, four raised beds were installed on a patch of grass beside Sankofa. The beds were lined with plastic and filled with soil to prepare for the first of many gardening days. Mothers and children weren’t deterred by the cool rain and 8 a.m. start time. Before planting commenced, Whole Foods Market employee and expert gardener, Valerie Testa, educated the residents in basic gardening principles. Testa, a long-time gardener, helps run the Enright Park Community Garden in East Liberty with other Whole Foods volunteers. The seedlings Sankofa residents planted were home grown from seeds in one of Testa’s own gardens.
The garden was made possible thanks to a generous grant from PNC Bank, Community Development banking.
Twelve families from Sankofa will use the garden at the Kelly Street facility, as well as the women and children of Open Arms, located nearby on Frankstown Avenue. Community neighbors are welcome to use the garden, as long as they request permission from a Sojourner House MOMS employee. The project seeks to foster a spirit of community among MOMS residents and their neighbors, providing lessons in growing food, cultivating healthy eating habits, and gaining an understanding of basic nutritional concepts.
If interested in volunteering, please check out our volunteer page.