For urbanites who have already been bit by the gardening bug, there is no need to wait. There are many community gardens and urban farming programs that will appreciate your assistance. Earth Day is a great day to get started. Green Columbus puts on a weeklong event for community organizations to host volunteers to beautify the land in various ways. From gardening to trash pickup, any type of work offered is greatly valued. Four Seasons City Farm and Franklinton Gardens are among the many urban gardens that are hosting volunteers. Four Seasons City Farm is a non­profit organization “dedicated to revolutionary food production and community ­building” in and around the near east side of Columbus. Started in the early growing season of 2004 as part of a ministry of the Old First Presbyterian Church, the City Farm vision has expanded to include fourteen lots in the city, including a one­acre “New Freedom Garden” on East Mound Street at Carpenter. The produce grown on the collaborative sites is divided into thirds. One third is donated to local soup kitchens and food pantries; one third is divided amongst the individuals who worked on the garden – and nearby neighbors – with one third sold to food co­ops and local restaurants. An important goal of Four Seasons City Farm is to influence change through youth education. Teaching younger generations the benefits of growing their own food is a start to a just food system and future. For a number of years, City Farm has provided a summer program for teens to be involved in the garden. The program includes everything from planting and growing to cooking and eating. Some of the best volunteers are the neighborhood youth who love getting their hands dirty. As a non­profit, Four Seasons City Farm funding comes mainly from donations, grants and fundraising. To get support for this growing season, Four Seasons City Farm will host a fundraiser Friday, April 4 King Ave 5 in Grandview. There will be live music, a raffle, and a silent auction. Tickets are $5. Doors open at 7pm. Many other community gardens actively promote the greater good in our city and happily share training, techniques to perfect gardening skills, perform artistic expression and connect to the community. Ohio State University Extension has just graduated the inaugural class of Ohio Master Urban Farmers. This seven­week training, loosely based on the Master Gardener model, focuses on specialty crop production, conscious of the challenges inherent in urban food production. A second class series is planned. For more information contact Mike Hogan at Fairfield County Cooperative Extension, 740­653­5419 or Here is a link to volunteer at Four Seasons City Farm on Earth Day and the Facebook page for the fundraiser:­locations/four­seasons­city­farm

Appears in Issue: