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Community Gardens: The Meadow, Baltimore

Once an abandoned baseball diamond in the heart of Baltimore, The Meadow is now a thriving community garden and agricultural learning center created and maintained by the Mid-Atlantic Region of Whole Foods Market. Mark "Coach" Smallwood, Whole Foods Market’s local forager for this area, first discovered the neglected site in 2009 while walking his dogs around the neighborhood. After nearly a year of negotiation with Baltimore City, he was granted access to break ground on vegetable production. Located almost equidistant between our Mt. Washington and Inner Harbor stores, Whole Foods Market team members are committed to maintaining the garden. With the help of our team members and a network of neighborhood volunteers, the space is regularly weeded, watered and harvested. Community plots are available, however most of the produce harvested weekly is donated to the local food bank. "If you don't know how to grow, it's a great place to learn," says Coach. "If you do know how to grow, it's a great place to teach."

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IsabelleArtist says …

I am so glad Coach took the first step. It's amazing how now the community garden provides most of its food to the local food bank. Community gardens are so wonderful. Great story.

Karen Hernandez says …

It is wonderful to see what one person can do image how many thing we could make if we just make a commitment ...Thanks Mr Coach many kids are now with more knowledge and thankfull !

Mihku Paul says …

I don't hear anything about testing the soil before growing edibles for consumption. As a long time community gardener ( I teach composting) and a Master Gardener with the Cooperative Extension in my county, I often see people just digging up city soil and amending it and planting food crops. I am constantly warning people who do not know better, that they MUST test the soil for lead and contaminants before growing food for consumption. This slide show and talk is a perfect opportunity to get the word out. We need to do this. More and more people with no gardening background are trying to grow food in their yards and neighborhoods without being aware of the contaminant issue.