“Would you like to be a Garden Leader?”
Sure, I replied. I didn’t know exactly what that meant and I didn’t know just how much my life and my community was going to change by agreeing to become a Garden Leader.
In 2019, I was a participant in the first cohort of S.E.E.D.S (Support Empower Engage Develop Support) a women’s empowerment group sponsored by Cleveland Council Woman Jasmin Santana https://www.clevelandcitycouncil.org/council/council-members/ward-14 where I met fellow participant Tanisha Velez. Daily Tanisha strongly demonstrated her passion for urban farming and healthy living. She would always share with the class fresh micro-greens and produce, free of charge, which at the time, was being grown in her home and garden. Tanisha and her family are owners of local business Cleveland Fresh https://www.clevelandfresh.com/. During our time as participants of S.E.E.D.S. Tanisha asked me to become a garden leader and the rest, as they say, is history.
Shalom & Tranquility Community Garden is an Ohio State University Agricultural Extension Garden. Agricultural Extension is a service or system which assists people, through educational procedures and more.
Tucked away on a residential street in the historic community of Brooklyn Centre, was a blighted (a thing that spoils or damages something) piece of property that had become an eyesore and a dumpsite! I didn’t recognize how bad it was until I had to select a sight location for the garden. I live just one street over from the garden and had NEVER seen how bad of shape it was in. When you live in urban blight sometimes it all just looks the same.
When submitting an application to OSU to become an extension garden you have to submit 3 potential names for your space. I don’t recall the other names I’d selected but Shalom & Tranquility surely fits what the community, volunteers, and I have created. Shalom and Tranquility is a retreat, a place of peace and quiet in the middle of not so peaceful living.