On Sunday, April 27 Slow Foods DC spent a beautiful spring afternoon at Wangari Gardens working to expand their communal herb garden. Located near the McMilliam Reservoir and the Washington Hospital Center, Wangari Gardens is a 2.7 acre educational community garden park that offers free garden workshops, private and shared garden plots, and youth programing alongside a pollinator hive and a fruit orchard. A group of over 14 volunteers from Slow Food DC and Wangari gardens worked together to build a 12 foot L-shaped garden bed for cooking and medicinal herbs that can be harvested and shared by the whole community. Guided by master gardeners and SFDC board members, Mark Haskell and Ibti Vincent, volunteers also planted a few Ark of Taste Fish Chili Peppers – an African American heirloom variety brought to this country from either the Caribbean or Africa by enslaved peoples to the many plantations that surrounded the early Chesapeake Bay settlements.
The group wrapped up their afternoon of hard work in the sun with an al fresco pot luck, sharing some of their favorite homemade dishes gathered around Wangari’s home-made garden benches under the trees. It was the perfect way to pass a gorgeous day outdoors, learning new planting skills and getting to know our neighbors.
Slow Food DC’s new community garden plot at Wangari is accessible to all who want to work in the garden, learn more about one of our regional foods and how to grow food locally, or just sample some hearty herbs of the season. So be sure to head on over to check out the garden and enjoy the fruits of our labor throughout the summer!
You can also check out Wangari’s free Sunday workshops throughout the month of May, including:
- May 4th & May 11th – Gardening 101: Everything you need to know about starting a garden from soil prep, garden designs, plant types and more.
- May 18th – Soils and Composting: Learn about soil, soil biology, and different systems for creating compost.
- May 25th – Container Gardening and Companion Planting: Learn how to garden with limited space and how companion plants can enhance your garden’s production and repel pests.
Hope to see you there!