The Garden of Peace and Community Farm OpensBy Ivan Saul Cutler, Carolina Peacemaker / August 26, 2021
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Greensboro’s Warnersville community recently celebrated the growing emergence of their lush Garden of Peace and Community Farm. The garden and farm are a collaboration of residents of the Warnersville community, St. Phillip AME Zion Church and the Guilford Urban Framing Initiative (GUFI).
St. Phillip AME Zion Church Pastor Lisa Caldwell led a chorus of benedictions, declarations of praise from city officials and community testimony, acknowledging how the garden addresses the critical issue of food insecurity through directed community engagement, partnerships and sustainable practices. After the traditional ribbon-cutting, student farmers and community members conducted tours and GUFI staff assisted children in harvesting sunflower seeds.
Located on church property in Greensboro’s first Heritage community, the agricultural enterprise’s mission is “to improve community health and wealth while reducing socioeconomic and health disparities, to explore concepts of food sovereignty within an urban setting while promoting food justice, environmental justice and social justice,” said Caldwell.
Organizers of the endeavor said the urban farm seeks to transform under used areas in Guilford County in order to improve residents’ access to nutritional food and their health conditions while bringing environmental justice effort to underserved communities. The garden invites the community to learn about the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Produce from the community garden and farm helps residents maintain their physical and mental health and serves as an attractive community gathering space.
The Garden of Peace and Community Farm incorporates an edible landscape with a demonstration greenhouse, ADA-accessible raised beds, open in-ground vegetable plots, a children’s garden, a cut flower area, a pollinator habitat, perennials such as blackberry and blueberry bushes, Witch Hazel and Serviceberry trees along with other fruit trees. It is a culmination of hundreds of volunteer hours and support from many local non-profits and university students.
Organizers said funding and support came from The UNC Greensboro Communication Studies Department as the inaugural host of the National Communication Center for Communication, Community Collaboration & Change, the Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation, Walmart Community Grants, private foundations and donors including a grant from Publix Super Markets, Inc.