City transfers corner gardens to Historic Fair Hill
This spring, the city of Philadelphia transferred the lots at the corner of Ninth and Indiana Street to Historic Fair Hill. The community gardens that our team and neighbors have been growing there are a beautiful sight. We are excited to now have the right to continue gardening here without the threat of development.
The corner of 9th and Indiana is memorialized by two great wall murals: “Together We Stand” and “Tribute to Peaches.” Twenty years ago, 25 drug dealers stood on this corner and terrorized the neighborhood. The murals show Chollo and Yamira, two teens killed here, and Peaches Ramos, the block captain who organized neighbors to help the police drive out the drug market. Ramos, who has been instrumental in the safety of the neighborhood since, is block captain and a member of the Historic Fair Hill Board of Trustees. The story of how she and her neighbors changed the face of the neighborhood is the subject of the 2004 video, The Struggle for Fairhill.
State Senator Shirley Kitchen got state funding to put up an iron fence around the gardens, and Phil Forsyth of Philly Orchard Project put in fruit trees. Peaches and the neighbors decided to bring people together with a Sofrito vegetable garden and a flower garden. They will meet every Thursday at 4:30 with HFH gardeners to learn and grow together.
Hector Colon lives across the street and waters the gardens. “The corner is clean now, and we’re growing flowers and vegetables for everyone to enjoy.”