A Letter from Bri, Garden Manager

Hello neighbors, friends, volunteers and family!

It’s been a beautiful whirlwind at Historic Fair Hill this spring. We’ve accomplished so much because of you. Yes, you! Thank you. The gardens have never been so well cared for, and it’s only because we’ve had so many incredible helping hands this season.

I want to share with you some of what we’ve accomplished together recently, because it’s pretty cool and you’re a part of it!

Allen Baker and Jorge Diaz at the Ninth and Indiana Garden

Early this spring we revamped the 9th and Indiana Street Community Garden, after finally being given the deeds to the two lots. This means that these gardens are protected from development. To celebrate, Allen and Jorge rebuilt the beds in preparation for the new Sofrito Garden!

Volunteers from Fuel the Cure working in the garden

On Saturday, April 23rd, Fuel the Cure brought nearly forty volunteers out to Historic Fair Hill. In one cold, rainy day we turned our four compost piles, mulched every fruit tree, weeded paths, amended beds and transplanted perennials in our three largest gardens! As if that wasn’t enough, we planted seven shade trees, picked up trash and winter brush debris throughout the grounds, and rebuilt our notice board. Seeing so many enthusiastic volunteers makes me so proud to be a part of this special space, but nothing made me as happy as HFH’s Youth Farm Crew Leader Amir directing volunteers in our flagship garden. Many thanks to Willie Xiang and everyone else at Fuel the Cure who brought their A game!

On Friday, April 29th, Germantown Friends School brought a crew of enthusiastic middle school volunteers to give some extra love to our Evelyn Sanders Garden. We weeded some wild beds, harvested herbs, planted perennials and mulched out the future Sweet Potato Garden! GFS helps us every year and we’re always grateful for their can-do attitude and willingness to learn.

Bri Barton and two children gardening at Hannah House

On Saturday, April 30th, with tremendous support from Farm Philly, Parks and RecreationPennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Department of Public Health, and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Hannah House Gardens hosted a community workday. Parks and Recreation generously donated new tools and gloves. We mulched paths and pear trees, built and filled five new raised beds, learned about soil safety, and installed a new hand-washing station! Kids had a great time getting their faces painted, decorating the fences, and playing in the field nearby. Endless thanks to all our partners on this successful work day!

Seedlings and plants in a greenhouse, ready for planting

This spring, we have been starting seeds at the Fairmount Horticultural Center through the pilot Community Propagation Program. This has made it much easier to start specific varieties of annuals.

On behalf of our neighbors, staff, volunteers, and resident red-tailed hawks, thank you so much for all your help and support so far this year. This place means a lot to a lot of people, and it’s an honor to be a part of this wonderful site. We are open to visitors Tuesday 9-3, Thursday 12-6 and Saturday 9-3. If you’d like to volunteer, or have any questions, please contact us.

Thank you!


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