The Wedge at 214 Park Avenue

The Wedge at 214 Park Avenue

Friday, August 14, 2015

New website!

The Wedge Garden now has a website! Check us out at www.thewedgegarden.com
We will continue the blog on our new site and look forward to sharing our stories with you there.



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Garden Party!

Taste of the Wedge Garden Party!



As you may know, we had our annual garden party this past Sunday and it was terrific! Everyone came out including the weather (it was hot!) and had a great time spending time together, enjoying the outdoors, and eating lots of food! The dishes included carrots and beanpole salad, cucumber salad, watermelon, arugula salad and mangos. We also had a refreshing cucumber infused drink and some delicious sweet tea.

Tracy Weidert & Shamsa Visone
 Some of the people who made it out include Tyler and Susan Craft, Tyler is the Vice-Chair of the Hillsborough CAC; Dallas and family, sponsors of the garden; Sue Adley-Warrick and Lyle; Dan and Kate Bagley with triplets Quin, Emmie, and Gracie; Tracy Weidert, Co-Manager of the Wedge Garden; Aliana and Charlie, neighbors; and Reach Out Raleigh!
Shamsa with Tracy, a neighbor

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

You're Invited!!!!!



















This Sunday, come out and enjoy our harvest with the many people of the Wedge community... Along with the potluck, we will also be tasting our no name tomatoes and picking the OFFICIAL "Wedge tomato"!! It's going to be a great time and we can't wait to see you there!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Sponsor of the Week! Glenwood South

The Wedge Garden is meant to be a place in our community where people can come together to learn and grow in a welcoming and open environment. None of this would be possible without the support of The Wedge’s many sponsors who work to help our garden thrive. One group of sponsors that is especially important to us here at The Wedge, is all of our friends over on Glenwood South. Many Glenwood businesses and neighbors have donated their time, food, and services to the garden and so we wanted to give each of them the recognition that they deserve!

Seen here: Lilly Gray at Raleigh Wine Shop; Maurizio, Owner at Tesoro Hair Design; Jason and Lauren at De'Mo's; Thomas, Manager at Sushi Blues; Sara, Owner of Cupcake Shoppe; Akram at Zaky's and Bob and Sue Lohr.

The Wedge Garden loves our Glenwood restaurants because they donate one of our favorite things at the garden… FOOD! Blue Mango served some of its delicious Indian food at Taste of the Wedge Garden in 2014. At our greenhouse installation, DeMo’s served lunch and the volunteer’s couldn’t have been happier. And last but not least, Zaky’s brought lunch for the ShermanWilliam’s Kid’s Painting Day! They served fresh, family made Mediterranean and Palestinian food including the best falafel in Raleigh! Our volunteers work hard at each event and these amazing donated meals are just what they need at the end of a long garden day.

Our restaurant sponsors are loved but who can forget the wonderful businesses on Glenwood South! Raleigh Wine Shop, the Cupcake Shoppe, Sushi Blues Cafe, and Tesoro Hair Design were all kind enough to donate gift certificates for our big Service Raleigh event in March. These certificates were given to many of our incredible volunteers who came out to work that day. The Wedge loves to show our volunteers that we appreciate them and we couldn’t have done that without these awesome gifts!

Many residents of Glenwood have also reached out to help The Wedge! Bob and Sue Lohr sponsored our intern, Mary’s, sidewalk project. Whenever you go to the garden and see all of the beautiful perennials, the Lohr’s are partly to thank! And of course, Stephen Votino and family donated the sign holders that are spread throughout the garden. Thanks to him, visitors can tell what’s growing in each bed and the garden can run much smoother!

The Wedge Garden loves our sponsors and we know you will too so, go check them out next time you’re around Glenwood South!!!

INTERN SPOTLIGHT! Christina McChesney

            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!


Christina McChesney is currently a senior at NC State studying biology. Christina was looking for an internship  when she stumbled upon a pest control internship in the Wedge Connect Program. She joined the team shortly after and was eager to get started working in the garden! As an intern through the Wedge Connect program, Christina has had the opportunity to work with a Master Gardener Rich Woynicz; who has taught her how to help the garden grow, stay pest free, and use water wise watering.

Although Christina applied for a pest control internship, her main project thus far has been creating various maps of the garden. She initially created a map of the herb garden and is now working on designing a complete map of the garden including an index of what exactly is growing throughout and where. While this may seem like a tedious and unpleasant task for some, Christina has approached it with enthusiasm because she knows it will help the garden better communicate with the community and help visitors find what they are looking for. Christina and this project are essential because it makes it easier for community members to use the garden that is meant for them!

In the future, Christina hopes to design an outdoor vermicomposting area at The Wedge.  For those out there who have never heard of vermicomposting (like myself!), it is composting that primarily uses red worms. Christina has had her own personal vermicompost bed for years but can’t wait to put one to use in the garden and observe how it applies to outdoors. Christina will be working with a corporate group in the garden to help them learn how to compost their kitchen scraps. Learning opportunities like this are what the Wedge Connect program is all about and we are so happy that Christina can have this opportunity!

Christina loves the garden because it “allows for all types of people to have a chance to invest in their community!” She sees that the garden offers many benefits from taking home produce to gaining valuable learning and growing experiences. If asked by a newcomer to the garden, she would say that anyone can get involved and there’s so much to do here beyond basic garden tasks. You never know who you are going to meet or what you might learn!

We are so grateful for all that Christina has done so far at The Wedge and cannot wait to see what her future holds!

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 (:
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