For Immediate Release: Thurs., Aug.1
Contact: Julie LaBar | Director of Marketing and Communications
412/622-6915, ext. 3801 | jlabar@phipps.conservatory.org

 

Phipps Conservatory’s Homegrown Program Expands Community Outreach and Impact
Edible garden program installs new gardens, connects community members, prepares for 2019 Homewood Good Food Festival and looks to the future
 

Pittsburgh, PA– Now in its sixth year, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ Homegrown program continues to further its reach and impact in Pittsburgh, benefiting hundreds of community members.

Homegrown began in 2013 in Homewood where its first raised- bed vegetable garden installations took place, bringing residents together through community gardening. In Homewood, gardens are now growing in almost one in every 10 households. In 2018, the program expanded to Larimer with an additional 25 gardens. This year, the program expanded to include the neighborhoods of Lincoln-Lemington, Belmar and East Hills. Since its inception, Homegrown has installed over 295 raised-bed vegetable gardens at households in underserved neighborhoods and provided valuable resources to the Pittsburgh community, sharing gardening knowledge and expertise, increasing community access to fresh produce, mentoring residents to become self-sufficient gardeners, promoting healthy food choices and providing community connection opportunities.

Homegrown's most recent garden installation took place at Veterans Place, a transitional living facility located on Washington Blvd. This installation included 14 garden beds for facility residents to plant, grow and harvest their own fresh vegetables. In addition to raised-bed materials, the Homegrown team provided seedlings, tools and training, helping the residents of Veterans Place to grow and flourish through gardening.

The future is bright, as Homegrown plans to further expand its outreach through a new USDA grant awarded for the creation of 120 additional Pittsburgh area gardens, with the goal of installing 60 raised-bed vegetable gardens by the end of the summer.

Homegrown is sponsoring the 2019 Homewood Good Food Festival on Sat., Sept. 7 to bring community members together and celebrate fresh, locally grown foods. The festival takes place from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on the 7100 block of Kelly Street and includes food from local restaurants and caterers, local gardeners and farmers, live music, children’s activities and more. The event is open to the public and free to attend.

Gardening does far more than produce vegetables. It grows confidence and community, provides hope for the future and inspires healthier, better lives. "Food gardening is really about self-reliance and strengthening connections with neighbors, family and friends," stated Lauren Delorenze, Phipps' Community Outreach Coordinator. "Phipps' Homegrown program gives participants the ability to provide for themselves, empowering them with garden knowledge and skills they need to confidently grow their own food for years to come and to share their edible bounty with others, bringing people together."

Homegrown's focus and impact go beyond garden installations and mentoring to include community greening by planting thousands of daffodil bulbs with home gardeners each fall for perennial spring blooms, advocacy as a member organization of Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, leadership in Phipps' adult gardening courses and participation in speaking events to widely share the benefits of edible gardening with others.

For more information about Homegrown, visit: phipps.conservatory.org/homegrown

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About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA is a globally recognized green leader with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Encompassing 15 acres including a historic 14-room glasshouse, 23 distinct indoor and outdoor gardens and industry-leading sustainable architecture and operations, Phipps attracts nearly half a million visitors annually from around the world. Learn more at phipps.conservatory.org.