CGN’s first year: a look back and a commitment to the future.

Seven months.

It’s been seven months since the Cooperative Gardens of Narberth started- seven months of hard work, community, and plenty of weekly harvest sessions. In those seven months, we’ve established two gardens, one with the sole purpose of growing for donation, endured our fair share of leaky hoses, and built a network of gardeners, novice and experienced, with a shared commitment to charitable growing.

Honestly? We couldn’t be more proud.

Our original motivation to found CGN was to combat food insecurity in the midst of a raging pandemic. And although COVID-19 is still present seven months later, we have been able to do our part to provide food to friends, neighbors, and others in need through gardening. We estimate that from July to October, we managed to donate approximately twenty-five pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs per week- a combination of our harvest at the Giving Garden and Community Garden, donations from home gardeners, and food grown by our friends at the Maybrook Community Garden.

In 2018, seven percent of Montgomery County residents were food insecure; in 2020, a year where unemployment rates have skyrocketed, that number has sharply risen. But despite these uncertain times, we are incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received and the impact we have been able to make on our community. We can’t solve hunger outright, but we can use our resources and shared passion for gardening to help lessen it in and around Narberth- and being able to do so for the past seven months has certainly been one of our greatest achievements.

That being said, we can’t stop here. We have built two gardens and an incredible network of gardeners over the past few months, and we hope to keep this momentum going. In the future, we plan to extend our network of gardeners, grow our current gardens in size and harvest output, and partner with more local organizations in order to promote charitable growing in our community.

And to do this, we need your help. We would not be where we are today without the help of our home gardeners and volunteers, and to continue growing, we need that commitment to keep up.

But no pressure! Gardening shouldn’t be scary or intimidating, and neither should volunteering. In fact, that’s part of why we are here: to help new gardeners get started- and there are so many ways to get involved, big or small. It could be signing up for half an hour of watering or planting the seeds to your first garden at home or donating all those tomatoes that you harvest but never get around to using. Maybe you’ve never touched a watering can or maybe you’ve been gardening for as long as you can remember. Either way, there are no requirements or regulations for getting involved: all you need is a positive mindset and a commitment to charitable growing.

No matter what you bring to the table, we welcome you- and we want you to join us. Become a part of the Cooperative Gardens of Narberth in whatever way you can, and help us grow towards change today, tomorrow, and far into the future. We hope you’ll join us.

The Cooperative Gardens of Narberth team

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