By: Lauren Carberry
Weather was in our favor last Friday afternoon, as Net Impact gathered with local community members at the Uber Street Farm. After a few weeks of clean-up from a winter-long period of inactivity, it was finally time to begin planting. While a few of the guys worked on weed-whacking and trimming around the newly budded plum trees, we had a team of ladies attacking a weed-ridden plot of soil, which—by the end of the afternoon appeared to be the unmistakable remnants of last season’s garden. Sectioned off by hefty logs and decorative labels, each crop had its own decisive location. Finally, the community garden was returning to its original order. To add some color and beauty to the already vibrantly muraled street-farm, we filled the old recycled tires lining the fence with soil in preparation for planting flowers. Agnus, a local resident, was kind enough to bring us fresh water to hydrate our newly planted spring blossoms. It was truly inspiring to have the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from the residents of the community. The residents care about the success of this garden just as much as we do and the kids, as well as the adults in the neighborhood were more than happy to work with our twenty-some team of Net Impact members.
As the sun began to set and all that we had to plant had been planted, the guys lit up the charcoal, bringing everyone together in a hugely successful cook-out. Residents, Agnus and Willa Mae, contributed their own dishes and we provided the veggie burgers and dogs for a delicious feast to kick of the harvesting season! After everyone was entirely too full, the neighbor ladies insisted that we accompany them in what they said was going to be one line dance—and what turned out to be about five. Laughing hysterically at our attempts to keep up with the ladies who clearly knew what they were doing, this may have been the highlight of the evening. We filled the streets as we followed the lead of the two women instructing us step by step on the “Philly Shuffle.” There is no doubt that we attracted lots of attention from other Temple students and members of the community, and we hope that we continue to attract more. Net Impact plans on making it a weekly priority to maintain the upkeep of the urban garden and with the help of the community ensure that it continues to be successful in harvesting both food and fun!