Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Gardening in Philly

Reading a post from a fellow blogger about winter farmer's markets and the possible lack there of in urban areas, inspired me to write about gardening in the city. Philly does garden and offers a multitude of farmers markets in various neighborhoods in the city. We also have some unique arboretums, nurseries, and gardening events in the city. In my opinion, there can never be too many gardening events. Events offered by  Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in my neighborhood and some others were cut in 2014 due to funding. A review of this years scheduled events show even fewer local neighborhood events. Here is a link for their 2014 events. In spite of these cuts, there is still an array of gardening events and classes offered by nurseries, garden stores, and arboretums in the city.

I'll have to venture out of my neighborhood to places I haven't explored like Bartram's Gardens about 15 minutes from Center City,  Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Fairmount Park, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania in Chestnut Hill, and Awbury Arboretum in Germantown which is in my neighborhood. I'm ashamed to say I haven't visited and drive by one or more times weekly in spite of receiving e-mail notifications of offered events. Spring is a beautiful time so maybe I'll plan on visiting there first.  There are other gardens in the surrounding areas including Longwood Gardens, The Barnes Arboretum, Andalusia, and Chanticleer all within a short drive from Philly in the surrounding counties. I will be focusing on only those in Philly. I hope to keep updates on what events are happening. Bartram's Garden has a nice catalog of native plants available in their nursery. Here's a link to the pdf.

Lets start with farmer's markets since this is what inspired this post The Reading Terminal Market immediately comes to mind because it's my favorite that I've been shopping in since my mother introduced it to me as a child. When she was alive she went weekly and I as often as I could. I've talked about them before and shared some pictures on the blog this summer. The Terminal offers fresh and local foods, produce, breads, fruits and vegetables, candy, coffee, meat, fish, flowers, and a multitude of crafted items  including quilts, soaps, jewelry, herbs, spices, and candles. You have to come visit. I just saw on their web site that the now offer delivery. I'll have to go back and read this.

Another farmer's market is on Saturday's year round and Wednesday's in Center City on Rittenhouse Square. Rittenhouse Farmer's Market is a nice market there year round in 4 locations in Philly. The streets surrounding the square is lined with vendors. It offers fresh and local food items including vegetables, fruit, fish, meat and poultry, artisan breads, and other items. On Wednesdays the market is open in University City. Other locations include Chestnut Hill, and Bryn Mawr which is not in the city. If you join the e-mail list they'll e-mail you a list of what vendors will be there. Here is a link for their Face Book Page. You may have to create a Face Book account. Keep saying I'll go and take pictures. I'll eventually go and post some. 

The Italian Market on 9th street is not exactly a farmer's market but one of the oldest and largest Italian markets in the United States. I remember weekend visits to the market with my mother during my childhood. Walking through the market with streets lined with fresh fruits and vegetables and any type of store you could imagine. The butchers shop, spice shop, fresh bread, anything you can imagine. Haven't been there to shop in years. I'm going to have to renew this tradition. I can't go with mom but I'll drag my daughter along although she's been to the market with a close friend who lives in South Philly, but probably only for a Philly cheese steak.

This is a link for a map of approximately 35 farmer's markets in Philly. Click on the balloon to see where the market is. You can also see markets in the suburbs of Philly. Greensgrow Farm has become popular. It's located in I believe the Northern Liberties section of Philly. It's a working farm in the heart of the neighborhood that grows some of it's produce and also purchases goods from local farms. They offers gardening classes and events. I'll write more about them when I add more to this page.

In my neighborhood we have three farmer's markets that I'm aware of. There may be more. I know of one on Wayne Avenue where there is a neighborhood garden. I have seen tables there where they sell some of their produce. I'll continue to do my research. The one down the street from my house is at Grumblethorpe which I've shown pictures of and blogged about before. They sell produce grown on their grounds.Sadly I don't see the other farmers markets l isted for my neighborhood. I will do the research and post their locations later. I feel like Germantown is often looked at as a "lost cause." Not to the people who live in this neighborhood. It is one neighborhood in Philly like others where people are trying to rebuild and show pride in their neighborhood. Not only do the people who live here have to take pride in their neighborhood but the city has to invest in it's neighborhoods. This area has had some recent renovation such as the regional rail project at Wayne Junction and upcoming renovation to Maple Wood Mall. A small corridor of Germantown Avenue also won an award in the City Gardening contest I entered for their greening efforts which were beautiful. I hope this is continued and expanded upon.

I came across this article on line about Philly neighborhoods and how they got their name. I included this because it's interesting to me and I can quickly refer back to it. I hope you enjoyed what I felt like posting about today. This page will be updated and expanded upon as I have time and locate new gardening information. Thanks for stopping by.

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