A couple of weeks ago, I visited an Octopus’s Garden, right in the middle of DC. Impossible, you say? Come now. Have a wee bit of imagination.
Nestled at the intersection of 11th and Harvard Streets, N.W., the lovely garden blooms. Deep green kale pushes itself towards the sun. Mint, oregano and basil sway gently in the warm summer breeze. All this right smack in the middle of the concrete jungle. The garden sits in a corner of the backyard of charter school Carlos Rosario and serves as inspiration for the community’s children. A combination of plot for growing green things and art school, the garden is the creation of City Blossoms, a local nonprofit dedicated to establishing youth-driven, sustainable and engaging green spaces that enrich the lives of children and their communities.
As part of a holistic four-part model – environmental education, artistic expression, healthy living skills and community development – City Blossoms transforms landscapes by creating public gardens that provide beautiful, safe spaces for the children, families, educators and neighbors in DC communities. In 2013, City Blossoms’ unique approach to community development through urban gardening resulted in:
- Gardens at 17 locations throughout the DC area;
- Over 7,400 participants with access to safe and healthy green spaces;
- Harvest and distribution of over 500 pounds of produce; and
- Publication and national distribution of City Blossoms’ early childhood bilingual curriculum, Our First Harvest, Nuestra Primera Cosecha.
The event held on June 20th was a fundraiser to continue City Blossoms’ great work. The theme – yes, Octopus’s Garden – brought all sorts of sea creatures big and small to the party. There were jellyfish, sea monsters, mermaids, lobsters and of course, Neptune. Locally sourced food was provided by Whole Foods and 5 Seeds Farms. Top chefs, Tom Madrecki (Chez Le Commis) and Jeremiah Langhorne transformed the veggies, mussels and chicken into delicious grilled nibbles to be enjoyed on the perfect summer evening.
Hyland Highway was proud to be a “Green Zebra Tomato” sponsor for the event and hopes that much good will come of the support! Want to learn more? Contact City Blossoms at 202.870.8158 or firstname.lastname@example.org.