Good Things growing in Culverhouse Community Garden

See this?

planting box[clearboth]

It’s a planting box made by a member of the Culverhouse Community Garden. It can be used by inveterate gardeners who might have difficulty getting down to ground level, or returning from it, as well as those in wheelchairs. The box, designed and built by Steve Radies at the Garden, is made of pine treated with an organic product. The soil in the box sits on a bed of straw over chicken wire, so water drains through.

steve radies
       Steve Radies

[clearboth]Steve’s box is one of the experiments going on at the garden, whose mission to be an educational resource as well as a productive garden.

“Growing the food is important, but the educational aspects are critical,” says Linda Sanders, another member of the garden. The garden’s site has a growing resources section, she notes, adding, “We really want to be part of the community.”

linda sanders jim vaugn
                 Linda Sanders and Jim Vaughn

Small plots near the garden’s center are designated for trying things out. Four types of composting are being compared, five kinds of basil are being grown. Classes eventually are possible, and they plan for a contemplation garden with a fountain.

Sanders, an architect, helped articulate Jim Vaughn’s conceptual plan for the circular garden, with its cluster of shady trees at the center.

Vaughn’s “design captured people’s imaginations from the beginning, made it easy to attract members, and I think it will always project the image of ‘community,’ said Catherine Dente, who together with Marcia Freeman and Leila Frangie sparked the idea for the garden three years ago. 


    The Originators: Freeman, Dente, Frangie

[clearboth]A path of pavers and a pergola at the entrance are also the drawing board, as is a fall festival, perhaps in November, when the growing season is peaking.

Part of the fun of Sarasota is seeing how folks with vision and dedication connect to create win/win assets. The garden as a source of both education and organic produce shared with the area’s neediest via the Gulf Coast Community Foundation is a brilliant example.