For Immediate Release: Thurs., Aug. 2

Contact: Julie LaBar | Director of Marketing and Communications
412/622-6915, ext. 3801 ǀ jlabar@phipps.conservatory.org

Phipps’ Homegrown Program Expands Community Outreach in Pittsburgh
Edible garden program takes root in Larimer and connects with community members at Homewood Good Food Fest

Pittsburgh, PA — After five years of operating the Homegrown edible garden outreach program, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has expanded its outreach to the Larimer neighborhood. This Fri., Aug. 3, the program will reach even more community members at the Homewood Good Food Fest, celebrating food grown and prepared in Homewood at this free, family-friendly event.

Since its inception, Homegrown has installed over 210 raised-bed vegetable gardens at households in underserved neighborhoods and provided mentorship and resources to hundreds of community members. The Homegrown program began in Homewood, where gardens were installed in almost one in every 10 households. This all-new video explains the program and demonstrates its impact with testimonials from real Homegrown participants.

As part of the initiative’s mission to increase access to healthy foods in underserved communities, Homegrown is pleased to present the Homewood Good Food Festival, a day of deliciously fun family activities. Community members will have the chance to sample tasty morsels from local restaurants and caterers, talk with local gardeners, farmers and organizations, enjoy live music from local bands, and bring the kids for fun children’s activities. 

This year’s Homewood Good Food Festival is held on the opening day of Homewood’s Harambee Black Arts Festival and is immediately followed by the Afro Nubian parade. The event is free to attend, and will be held from 2 – 6 p.m. in the 7100 block of Kelly Street in Homewood, between North Lang Avenue and North Homewood Avenue. 

With a strong interest in expanding Homegrown’s community impact, Phipps is excited to take the program to Larimer this year. Homegrown helps families keep their gardens growing by building and honing participants' gardening skills and knowledge. Covering topics from weed and pest management to healthy cooking skills, monthly classes allow new gardeners to realize the full potential of their raised beds while offering opportunities for neighbors to connect. Larimer residents who are interested in applying for the Homegrown program should contact Lauren Delorenze at 412/441-4442, ext. 6627 or ldelorenze@phipps.conservatory.org.

Homegrown’s focus and impact go beyond garden installations and mentoring to include community greening by distributing thousands of daffodil bulbs to its home gardeners each fall for perennial spring blooms, advocacy as a member organization of the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, free gardening classes for adults with all levels of experience, and speaking events attesting to the benefits and impact of edible gardening. 

Currently, Homegrown is operating only in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Larimer, with plans for continued expansion in the future. For those who are interested in having a raised bed garden but who do not live in Larimer, Phipps has created an easy-to-follow guide, demonstrating how to build a raised bed garden. Additional resources are available to help new gardeners get started at Phipps' website

Learn more about Phipps' Homegrown program at phipps.conservatory.org/homegrown.

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About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA is a green leader among public gardens 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. Phipps commemorates its 125th anniversary throughout 2018, celebrating its historic past, vibrant present and exciting future ahead — including inspiring seasonal flower shows, community events, public programs and groundbreaking green innovation. Learn more at phipps.conservatory.org.