Building on last year’s success, we welcomed 16 new garden members, organized three new activities for adults and children, added new picnic tables and signage and planted new varieties of crops. In late August, garden members, old and new, hosted a potluck supper which featured a special workshop, Food and Mental Health. The workshop was led by yoga instructor and health coach April Diane and included a cooking demonstration featuring chef Dimas Rodriguez and garden manager Keno Williams. Artists Jill DeGroff (see volunteer spotlight pg. 29) and Caryn Allen worked with local children to paint a mural transforming two nondescript toolsheds into vibrant and welcoming spaces.

To the surprise of many, cotton also grew at the Roosevelt Community Garden this summer. Thanks to the efforts of Gardener Gloria Cassell with seeds from her family’s garden in Illinois, she created a cotton exhibit, of sorts, to educate more people about cotton and its link to “Black Migration”. Ms. Cassell was available on Saturday mornings from 10:00 am until noon to meet with anyone who wanted to see the fluffy fiber grow and learn more about its cultivation and cultural significance.

Over the winter, our goal is to register gardeners for the upcoming season, which will officially begin in March 2020 and run until late November, and partner with local organizations to host additional workshops so gardeners can be prepared for the upcoming season. Next year, one section of the garden will be designated for more community growing. Community members will have an opportunity to purchase pre-picked produce without renting a plot for the season. All donations will be used to maintain the garden and purchase additional supplies.

Special thanks to Land Alliance volunteers and staff and the O’Neil Conservation Stewards for lending a hand this summer. If you’re interested in becoming a garden member or volunteering at the Garden, please contact Andrea Millwood at 516-922-1028 or