Final Thoughts on 2011
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
— Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax
Truer words have not been spoken. And thanks to many of you who cared “a whole awful lot” in 2011, Community Greenhouse Partners has made significant progress toward achieving its mission: Developing a sustainable urban farm that applies ecological design principles and engages community participation to grow wholesome food year-round that is provided at low-cost to the neighborhood, improving personal health while generating training, mentoring and employment opportunities. Just a few of these achievements include:
- We bought St. George Catholic Church, a 2.83 acre parcel acquired from the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland which included a Church, an 8 bedroom house and a four car garage.
- We built a Forest Garden, which replaced what was a half-acre of manicured front lawn with a thriving ecosphere using a permaculture-based design that combined 27 Fruit and Nut Trees, numerous support trees and bushes, “salad bowls” filled with native greens, and a patch of large squash better known as “Zumpkins,” all surrounding a beautiful Mandala Garden, in order to illustrate alternative means of planting and to educate the principles of Permaculture.
- We built a Hoop House, in May, 2011, signaling the arrival of CGP to the neighborhood, and immediately became an attraction for the neighbors and a vehicle for not only growing crops, but teaching children about sustainability and earth science.
- We educated more than 300 Elementary, Middle School, High School and College students have made their way through CGP’s main gate, spending time with us learning about permaculture, greenhouse maintenance, composting, vacant land initiatives and urban renewal, food deserts and food justice, and more.
- We sold veggies and made an impact in the local Farmers Market scene, setting up stands at the Coit Road Market in East Cleveland, the Gateway/105 Market in Glenville, and the Indoor Downtown Farmers Market at the Old Arcade downtown. We also sold produce to a number of area restaurants and catering companies.
- We built nearly 4,000 square feet of raised garden beds, wherein we grew a wide assortment of leafy green vegetables, peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower, beets, carrots, parsley and basil, as well as the infamous “Zumpkin.”
- We bought a used greenhouse from a farm in Middlefield, Ohio, which we plan to significantly re engineer and reassemble in the parking lot directly next to the farm house, connecting it to the house’s heating system. We hope to have this structure up and running by the end of December.
- We built a Rocket Stove which features a series of chimneys and exhaust tubes that transfers the heat from a 1,200° wood burning fire chamber built from recycled bricks from a kiln into a low “bench” made from natural earth materials called “cob.” The rocket stove will efficiently heat the entire hoop house, using less than a quarter of the firewood that a conventional wood stove and vents would use to do the same job.
While much has been done, there is still much to be done; but we are in need of resources to continue to pursue our mission. That’s why we are looking for writers, check writers, to make a tax-deductible charitable donation to Community Greenhouse Partners. You can be confident that CGP will be an exceptional steward of your funds and you will see tangible returns on your donations:
- Growing – We plan to enhance the production of fresh produce with five additional hoop houses. In addition, we will be are seeing to acquire a compositing grinder to generate fertilizer for the hoops.
- Food Distribution – Out goal is to become a food aggregator of local food producer. In so doing we would collect and purchase produce, sanitize and aggregate and deliver to local targeted customers. To do this we’d need several things including a large pickup truck or panel van to make deliveries.
- Education – CGP is a staunch supporter and teacher of permaculture. We are converting the “farmhouse” on our property into a Permaculture Center for education. We are also interested in acquiring a bus to take these lessons to the community.
Please go to our donation page – http://communitygreenhousepartners.org/support/donate/ – and make your tax-deductible contribution today, or send your check or money order to Community Greenhouse Partners, 6327 Superior Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44120. And remember, “”Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”