Floral Avenue Community Garden on Ithaca’s west side was started in 2014 with a Hunger and Food Security grant from the United Way of Tompkins County. Plots were leased through CCE-Tompkins to neighboring residents at a charge of $15/year for a 10' x 10' plot or 15' x 15' for $25 annually. Tools, wheelbarrows, deer fencing, compost and water are all provided. In 2016, CCE-Tompkins participated in a Seed Money fundraiser to construct a 12’ x 12’ pavilion with rain gutters and a 500 gallon water tank to harvest rain water for the garden.
During the severe drought of 2016, gardeners had to bring water from home to water their plots. Most of the Floral Ave plot holders are residents with limited incomes who live nearby – some don’t have cars so bringing water to the site was very challenging. Gardeners at that time included a Burmese refugee who relies on the garden produce to feed her children and grandchildren, a Chinese immigrant who comes to the garden almost every day with her granddaughter, and two retired ladies who live in the low income apartments across the street and had never gardened before leasing plots at the garden. Altogether there were 20 plot holders at the garden who all relied upon the fresh vegetables from their plots. Earlier that spring, a local nursery donated several fruit trees that would produce apples, plums and apricots for the gardeners to share as well.
Last updated June 1, 2022