The Wedge at 214 Park Avenue

The Wedge at 214 Park Avenue

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

City Council recognizes the Wedge!

The recognition for Raleigh’s Wedge Community Garden continues...

Representing the Wedge Garden were Francesco & Shamsa Visone, Sue and Lyle Adley-Warrick, Mary Osborn, Pamela and Alexander Lietz, Sarah Fletcher, Melody Owens and Emily Ferdyn

            
On June 16th, during the 1pm session, the Wedge Garden received recognition by the Raleigh City Council!  Councilman Odum presented us with this great recognition from the City of Raleigh. Afterwards, Shamsa had the opportunity to address the city council about education for today’s youth on eating healthier for tomorrow. Many past and current members of the Wedge Garden team joined Shamsa at the ceremony. Two special attendees on Tuesday were Sue Adley-Warrick and Ana Duncan Pardo. These ladies pioneered in the early days of the garden and we are so thankful for them. Ana says she is very proud of all the garden’s success and supports it fully!


            Along with this wonderful recognition on Tuesday, the garden has had the honor of welcoming both Councilwoman Kay Crowder and Councilman Eugene Weeks for private tours over the past week. Councilwoman Crowder and the garden staff shared gardening tips (that the garden has already begun to implement!) and Mrs. Crowder even took home some cucumbers! Councilwoman Crowder was very proud of the garden and said that she thinks “it [the Wedge] stands as a real testament to what Wedge Gardens can be and what they add, as far as community involvement involving children goes.” During his tour, Councilman Eugene Weeks was amazed by our communal garden! He believes that “the Wedge Garden is the way we should be going” and even joked that Councilwoman Crowder only got cucumbers while he got to take home everything! His takings included lettuce, cucumber, herbs, and pepper. We enjoyed the Councilmember’s visits greatly and they are welcome back any time to our true community garden. We would like to extend our invitation to other city officials to also come out for a private tour of the Wedge garden.

Friday, May 29, 2015

AND THE WINNER IS...

We are proud to announce that The Wedge Garden won the NUSA 2015 Neighborhood of the Year Grand Prize and 1st place in Multi-Neighborhood Partnership Projects!!


Last week, Shamsa Visone, her husband, Raleigh Community Services Director Dwayne Patterson, and Sheila Lynch and Dan Bagley, also with Raleigh Community Services, attended the national neighborhoods conference in Houston, Texas. Shamsa made her case about why The Wedge deserved the accolades and…WE WON! Congratulations Shamsa, team of volunteers and the City of Raleigh Community Services Department.

This is the first time this award has been given to a community garden and we are so honored to have received it! Here’s to making a better community through digging in the dirt and continued growth, collaboration, and education in the future.

Thanks to the Alexander Family YMCA for the land and support along with the countless volunteers and sponsors such as Seaboard ACE Hardware, Moonlight Pizza, and many many more!

Since 2012, the Wedge Garden as been living out important parts of the Y’s mission of strengthening the foundations of community and encouraging healthy living.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Asset Based Community Development at the Wedge

Asset Based Community Development at the Wedge
Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is a strategy for sustainable, community-driven advancement and mobilization. ABCD allows for communities to independently drive a development process by identifying and rallying existing assets and therefore, responding to and creating economic opportunity for the community.

In-Kind Community Donations- $3,615       73%
HCAC Grant- $920        19%
Individual Donations- $240         5%
Garden Dues- $160         3%
The Wedge Community Garden operates under the ABCD methodology. The motivation behind the Wedge is to build a garden that involves the support of the community and the bringing together of neighbors, business leaders, volunteers and students. The driving force for the garden comes from the encouragement, hard work and donations of the local community, neighbors, and business leaders.  It is in this commitment to success that the garden keeps expanding and growing year after year.  The Wedge has gone from an eye sore in the community to a garden, overflowing with produce, activity, and educational opportunities.


Pant a Row for the Hungry 55%
Neighbors, Gardeners, Volunteers, and NCSU Students 39%
Food Pantry 6%

As a source of pride, the Wedge Community Garden shares a majority of its produce with local food pantries and charitable organizations that feed families who are food-insecure in the Triangle area.  Neighbors, gardeners, volunteers, and students are invited to share in the harvest as well. 



We also work with lead connectors throughout the community. One special lead connector is Vince Whitehurst. Vince lives in the Pullen Park Neighborhood and has been a big supporter of the Wedge for many years. In February 2014, he presented to the Hillsborough Citizens Advisory Council, in efforts to obtain a yearly fund. Members of the council approved the fund and the Wedge Garden was given the opportunity to become a “pure” community garden that welcomes all citizens. Vince then got the support of the Pullen Park residents for all of our garden projects and he attends each annual event at the garden. Vince has been thus far satisfied with the Wedge’s progress, stating: “the garden exceeded [his] expectations of what was possible with that little wedge of land!”


Thank you Vince for all that you have done for the garden. We look forward to another great harvest season with the community!





Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What's with the Italian Names?!?!




What’s With the Italian Names?

The Wedge Garden is a welcoming place where everyone is one big family. As you step foot into the garden, your stress and worries from the outside world will wash away, allowing you to join in harmony with Mother Nature. This is why the Italian names exist at the garden; a person can enter the garden with a new identity and as a special member of a close-knit “Italian” family. This “Italian family” focuses on the love for each other over fresh food, something that is fundamentally important to all humans and especially to us at the garden!

Meet the family...

Elle "Georgina"
Julie "Appolonia"


Lawson "Richie"
Mary "Fiorella"
Sam "Lucky Luciano"
Dan "Rocco"
Sue "Lucia"
Shamsa "Francesca"
Courtney "Luciana"

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

INTERN SPOTLIGHT! Mary Jean Osborn

INTERN SPOTLIGHT! Mary Jean Osborn

The Wedge Community Garden considers itself blessed to have so many collegiate interns contributing to the garden and making it such a success! This is all possible through the Wedge Connect Program; a program that allows college students to take on their own project for the garden, in order to give them experience in their chosen field of study while being mentored by an experienced professional. Each intern is so special within the Wedge community and so, we want to draw attention to all the wonderful things that they are doing!

Photo: by Sarah Beach

Mary Osborn has been an intern with the Wedge since August 2014. She is a junior at NC State studying Biology with a concentration in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology. Mary was looking for an internship involving conservation and ecology when she found the Wedge Connect program through NC State. She joined the team within a week of applying and was anxious to get started working in the garden! Mary is a very enthusiastic and hands-on intern; on her first day, she was already planting garlic!!

Photo by Emily Ferdyn

Mary’s main project has been starting up the perennial garden along the edge of the property. With her help, the perennial garden has come a long way and is truly an eye-catcher for anyone walking by. With mentorship from Cindy Sanborn, a Landscape Design Artist on regional perennials, and help from groups including AmeriCorps and Service Raleigh, Mary has been able to beautify this part of the garden and plant many different types of flowers. Many neighbors have stopped by to compliment us on the flowers! When Mary is not working specifically on the perennial garden, she works on the general aesthetics throughout the Wedge. You can see all her hard work from any spot in the garden and we just don’t know what we’d do without her!!

Mary loves the garden because she enjoys getting her hands dirty while also learning people skills along the way! Mary is a natural leader and mentor. She is further developing these skills, with the Wedge’s encouragement, through mentoring high school students in the garden on Saturdays. Below, she can bee seen showing one student how to trench compost as she shares her college journey with him.

Mary mentoring a high school student

Until she got this internship, she had never planted vegetables before and she has already learned so much in such a little amount of time. Her advice to anyone getting started at Wedge or any garden out there, is to stay positive and keep trying because gardening is definitely something that you learn as you go! Mary’s dream for the garden would be a pond or a chicken coop… but she will settle for keeping the garden beautiful (:
@raleighgov @welovedowntown #raleigh #givingback @cochairs1 @cityyear  @letsmove  @nyccgc

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sponsor of the Week!

SPONSOR OF THE WEEK: Stephen Votino and Moonlight Pizza

Wedge Garden is going to start highlighting one of our in-kind sponsors each week, in order to show our appreciation for all that they have done for the garden and the community.

This week's Sponsor is Stephen Votino and Moonlight Pizza!

Stephen Votino, his wife Tricia, and their daughter Giada are downtown residents of Raleigh and make significant contributions to the community! Stephen is the co-owner of Moonlight Pizza along with being the president of Century 21 Triangle Group.  Moonlight Pizza, located on Morgan St., has been serving the people of Raleigh since 1996. They’re known for using the freshest local ingredients and going to great lengths to support local farms and markets. You can go there with your friends and family and enjoy a wonderful seat in their outdoor patio area or even a delicious gluten-free item, such as pizza or gnocchi…for all you readers out there with special dietary needs. We, at the Wedge, personally love when their jasmine vines bloom! Moonlight has supported the Wedge Garden by sponsoring Service Raleigh Neighborhood Lunch in 2014 and 2015 and IT WAS DELICIOUS!

As many of you know Wedge Garden is a communal garden and open to all citizens to grow and enjoy a harvest.  One of the welcomed suggestions many neighbors have made is to have something in each bed to show what is growing. Last year we tried putting up signs labeling each bed but they didn’t make it through this horrendous winter. So Mary Osborn, a dedicated gardener and NCSU student, suggested to put real estate sign holders in their place. Stephen and the gang at Century 21 didn’t show a moments hesitation when we asked them to donate 18 real estate sign holders for the Wedge. That’s over $300.00 and we couldn’t be more delighted with how they turned out! 



Stephen and Giada joined us on a very cold but sunny Service Raleigh day and brought with them the 18 sign holders. These holders will help all the visitors and gardeners see what is growing in each bed, along with when the crops will be ready for harvest. We love how the sign holders look in the garden and are already busy planning what to plant in each bed! Maybe the neighborhood kids can come out to paint and decorate them… Hmmmm, I guess that’s just going to be another workshop at the Wedge!

We are so grateful for all that Stephen and Moonlight Pizza has done for us! If you’re ever in the mood for a good piece of pizza and a great night out with the people you love, Moonlight Pizza is the place for you!

Also, the Wedge is wishing all you mothers out there a happy Mother's Day!! Thanks for everything you do!!


Moonlight is on social media as well, “like” them, “follow” them and whatever else you need to do with the links below:
Twitter @MoonlightPizza
Pinterest: Moonlight Pizza 
Instagram: Moonlight Pizza

#raleigh  @ShopLocRaleigh  @WeLoveDowntown  @wedgegarden

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Herb Planting with Jane's Walk and NCSU Alumni!


Over the weekend, the Wedge Garden hosted a Jane’s Walk featuring an herb-planting event with the NCSU Alumni of Wake County. We even got a visit from Mr. Wuf, the NCSU mascot!! Above is Mr. Wuf with Lucinda Lietz, a local Pullen Park resident.


Jane’s Walk is a movement of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs. The walks get people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with neighbors. The Wedge Garden aims to do just that and so, the two made a perfect combination on a beautiful Saturday morning! During the herb planting, Wedge hosted NCSU Alumni, HCAC Officers, Richard Calahan, who sponsored the walk, and many NCSU students and neighborhood kids.  Various herbs were planted including basil, Kentucky mint, dill, tarragon, oregano, and rue (to attract all the butterflies!)

As many of you know, the herb garden is a communal garden sponsored by Van and Anne Fletcher; for the second year now! So come, stop by and check out the herb garden at 214 Park Avenue! The street is under construction, but you can park on Flint, Dexter or Cox. Take the IHOP street (Park Ave)  and walk south. It will be on your right side with a purple sign that says "This Garden is Making a Big Impact".