Grand Gardens is a community garden established along Grand Boulevard in New Port Richey, Florida in 2015. Currently, a number of volunteers and interested community members operate multiple beds at the location. A commemorative Loquat tree was also planted, and a Grand Opening was held in September 2015.
The Garden is primarily managed by Travis Morehead, President of the Nature Coast Real Food Project, and Dell deChant, currently the chair of New Port Richey's Environmental Committee and a key member of Ecology Florida and Friendship Farm & Fare.
The Garden is supported by a number of local community organizations, including the Nature Coast Real Food Project, Pasco's Green Commerce Association, Friendship Farm & Far, Ecology Florida, East Madison Growers, and the New Port Richey Environmental Committee.
"Grand Gardens" T-shirts are available for purchase. Please contact us if you are interested. You can reach us via the contact form at http://www.ecologyflorida.org/contact-ecology-florida/
Local media has picked up on the Garden's opening and the efforts being made in New Port Richey toward the integration of more community gardens in the area. NewsPortRichey.org, a locally sourced and operated newspaper, ran this story in November. The Tampa Bay Times and the Suncoast News (TBO) have also run stories on the project.
From this Ground
by Wendy Buffington
Four live oaks climb the sky.
Limbs rise from this ground,
reach to Earth’s points--
east, west, north, south.
Nearby, the Pithlachascotee’s mouth
opens to the Gulf, winds past
this patch of grass. Though unseen
from here, its breath brushes our cheeks,
rustles the leaves of the live oaks.
We all leave our mark--Calusa,
Seminole, African, Spaniard, and Anglo--
in shell mounds on river banks,
in graves, bones, stories painted in caves,
the golden waves of grain
planted in rows by long-gone hands.
We are grains of sand. Today
we affirm our place in history--
caretakers of Earth’s star-born mystery.
We offer these brick-lined beds, pledge
to tend tender snow pea pods,
silk-throated loquat blossoms,
frilly carrot greens, the sweet orange root.
Our reward will be a harvest
of grapes and sweet potatoes, eggplant
and passion fruit, tomatoes full red on the vine.
Join your hands with mine. Dig joyfully
in this worm-rich dirt, as we move through time
one with the Earth, our human tribe.
Wendy Buffington is the official poet of the Grand Gardens