The mission of Community Greenhouse Partners is to improve the quality of life of those around us

Posts from — July 2011

TunnelVision Hoops, LLC

Carlton Jackson and his crew are the masterminds behind TunnelVision Hoops. Ardent supporters of the Cleveland local food scene, Jackson and his crew built our first hoop house in a matter of hours. They’re a dedicated staff and have committed above and beyond a mere vendor relationship. We value their support and look forward to working with them as we continue to add five more hoops in the next year.

Photographer Al Bell

When Visual Historian Al Bell approached us during the Spring of 2010, he brought with him his disarming smile and camera. The rest is history. Oftentimes, Al shows up and documents CGP meetings, events, farmwork…. just about anything related to CGP. You’ll see his photos peppered throughout our website and Facebook. He’s taken literally thousands of photos as CGP continues on its journey. You can find them here.

Al’s photographic eye helps us share our story. The story about the man behind the lens is a story we’d like to share with you. For the first part of his professional life, Al was an engineer. As an engineer, he helped build many of the signature buildings making up the Cleveland skyline over the last twenty years. His passion for building and construction segued into architecture and interior photography. With growing artistic skills, his photographic work expanded to include events and portraits.

When he’s not taking photos at CGP, Al continues his artistic education at both Cleveland State University and Cleveland Institute of Art while taking on photo assignments and consulting activities throughout Ohio.


We Need You!

There are many ways that you can donate and help out. Financial donations are – of course – ALWAYS welcome.
We also welcome your time, talent and treasures!

New Agrarian Center’s City Fresh Program

City Fresh is a program of the New Agrarian Center (NAC).  It is a movement of volunteers, farmers, youth and community working to make locally-grown food available and affordable for everyone. City Fresh meets the needs of both urban and rural communities by improving access to fresh, locally grown food for urban residents and increasing marketing opportunities in the city for local farmers. We are a movement of volunteers, farmers, youth and community members committed to local food and health in our community.

The City Fresh program impacts the local food system through the development of neighorhood food centers called Fresh Stops, nutrition education, garden installations in urban areas, and the cultivation of direct farm-to-business connections. We delivered over 11,000 shares in Cuyahoga County alone in 2010, directly contributing more than $130,000 to the local foods economy. City Fresh also operates in adjoining Summit  (Akron, OH) and Lorain counties.

As a partner, CGP provides produce to City Fresh. We share our facility for educational purposes with the New Agrarian Center and its City Fresh program.


Inside formal classrooms and – literally – in the field, students from area schools can learn about earth science, horticulture and other subjects in accordance with their school curriculum.

Stay tuned for upcoming educational events, which will be added here as they are scheduled.

Dual testing after move

Testing to see if it still posts to Facebook and Twitter.

New Website!

Community Greenhouse Partner’s website is getting a new look, thanks to the ace team at Cleveland’s GiveCamp 2011 weekend in Cleveland! The site went live at midnight, July 31st, and will be growing faster than weeds over the next 24 hours.

Comment testing

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Prepping the Forest Garden

On a sunny Palm Spring morning, Sunday, April 17, 2011, Community Greenhouse Partners welcomed nearly 75 people who came to help transform the front yard of the former St. George Catholic Church into a Forest Garden. Photographer Al Bell captured the day’s events with his camera lens.

Chief Grower Hank Habermann explains to Orchard Prep volunteers what they will accomplish by the end of the day.

The grounds hadn’t been maintained for a number of years, so there was lots of tree trimming. Chief Grower Hank Habermann, Site Manager Ben Shapiro and CGP Trustee Brooks Jones spent the week prior to the event cutting down a total of 6 trees that were unhealthy and which blocked needed sunlight.

Unhealthy trees were removed to prepare the Orchard for new growth.

Chainsaws buzzed and whined all throughout the week and the yard was scattered with tree trunks, limbs and branches from their handiwork. On Sunday, wheelbarrows and rakes were used, along with good old fashioned picking up by hand, to gather the small branches. This labor took a lot of the day’s time.

Forest Garden Prep Day created a gigantic brush mountain that will eventually be chipped for mulch.

Gary Paul Nabhan

Before the work began, however, the group was treated to a presentation by Gary Paul Nabhan, “The Father of the Local Food Movement” according to Mother Easrth News, who gave an informal workshop on Heirloom Apples and the shrinking of biodiversity due to monocropping and inductrial agriculture. Nabhan, an internationally-celebrated nature writer, seed saver, conservation biologist and sustainable agriculture activist, was brought to CGP by Brad Masi from the New Agrarian Center, and Janet Fiskio from Oberlin College’s Environmental Studies department facilitated the visit of one of two special guests that day.

Nabhan is also an orchard-keeper, wild forager and Ecumenical Franciscan brother in his hometown of Patagonia, Arizona near the Mexican border. More than 35 students from Oberlin, University of Akron, Kent State University and others from the community sat in a group immersed in Gary’s tales about the history of the apple.

Students from University of Akron

Afterward, the group went to work on the orchard. By the end of the day, grass again reappeared after being covered in a sea of twigs and branches. Large holes were dug throughout the yard. It looked as if a herd of giant gophers had moved into the neighborhood. Each hole exposed rich, dark (almost black) earth.

Star Volunteer Wally Genutis building a basin for saplings and vegetables.

At mid-afternoon, many took a break to stand in semi circle around Senator Sherrod Brown’s Ohio Deputy Director Elizabeth Thames as she hosted an informal conversation about local and Ohio food issues. She told CGP staffers that the Senator is interested in doing a presentation in the Fall about the 2012 Farm Bill and its implications for Urban Agriculture.

Sherrod Brown’s Ohio Deputy Director Elizabeth Thames hosts an informal QnA session.

While the site may have been a Lithuanian Catholic Church for almost a century, prior to that it had a previous life as the Beckinbach Farm. The earth is rich and will be a great home for the Katherine B. and Thomas H. Jones Memorial Woodland Garden, so named for the generous contribution from the Jones Charitable Trust of the Cleveland Foundation, who donated the funds necessary to purchase the trees and seeds planted in the space.

One of the neighborhood volunteers.

Saplings and whips now are firmly planted in the orchard. Various types of apple, pear and plum, bushes including huckleberry, blueberry and raspberry, plus many other varieties of plant life will round out the orchard. The goal is to create a true Forest Garden, to act as an example of how vacant land can be transformed into a healthy landscape that creates both community and economic development opportunities.


Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland

Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland (formerly the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland) was founded in 1954 and is a local and independent non-profit organization. Their mission is to ensure that Greater Clevelanders affected by diabetes have the support they need to live well with the disease.