In conjunction with this week’s theme, Health Habitats, I wanted to take a deeper dive into a particular public space in Jonestown, the Exeter Gardens. I stumbled upon the gardens when I first walked through Jonestown at the beginning of the CityLab course. I was thrilled to see a community garden as it is a wonderful opportunity for neighbors to work together to accomplish a beautiful, and productive public space in the community. Unfortunately, when I walked through the space many of the planting beds were overgrown, and looked like it had been years since they have been maintained.
Upon further investigation, I learned that Professor Lindsay Thompson was part of the team that created Exeter Gardens. The project dates back to 2012 when the space which was previously a derelict left over site from the redevelopment of the Flagship Court housing project, transformed into the community garden. According to the Exeter Gardens website (http://exetergardens.net/) you can become a member of the Green Thumb Club and volunteer in the garden. Members are asked to work in the garden at least one hour per week, I am curious to learn how many members they have, how often they plant/harvest crops, and what is done with the crops after harvest. Is it a CSA structure or perhaps the vegetables are sold at a local farmers market? This is a true gem of the neighborhood and one that I hope becomes a bright spot in the years to come.