WEB EXTRA: International Flavors Community Garden

- August 5, 2014 - “Like most inner city neighborhoods we see kids on the corners, especially in the summer, nothing to do,” Sister Phyllis Hilbert from the Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network said. “We also have found that our children don’t know what vegetables are. Most of them didn’t even know the names of the vegetables,” Sister Phyllis added. So when the Neighborhood Network started a movement to revitalize Erie’s Little Italy, they decided to plant a garden.

Located on the 400 block of West 18th Street, the International Flavors Community Garden was originally funded through a grant from the Erie School District and the land was donated by local business owner Larry Adiutori, according to the Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network website.

The garden is maintained by neighbors and volunteers. “They start with seeds…and they watch the seeds grow,” Sister Phyllis explained. Broccoli, onions, corn, tomatoes, and raspberries are just some of the fruits and vegetables found in the garden; “A lot of people around here don’t get that,” Sister Phyllis said. The produce is either sold at local farmer’s markets or brought home by the neighbors who maintain the garden.

Sister Hilbert considers the Community Garden a “beauty spot,” and said neighbors agree, “People go by and they say, ‘Thank you for creating a place of peace, I feel that peace when I come in here.’”

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