The Cottage City Community Garden was the first community garden to be established in the Port Towns area. Since 2010, the Cottage City Community Garden has served as a gathering place providing good, local, organic food for the community and a friendly place where we gather to learn the art of gardening from one another. Not only have we maintained and expanded the Cottage City Community Garden, but in March of 2013, many Cottage City Gardeners helped to construct raised garden beds in the establishment of the Colmar Manor Community Garden. Volunteers from both towns worked to build the Colmar Manor Community Garden in just one day.
It has indeed been quite a busy couple years for the Cottage City Community Garden and its’ gardeners! Over the years, we have learned gardening skills, planting and harvesting seasons and to how prepare fresh healthy foods. We even made Cottage City HOT Sauce for annual Cottage City Day 2014 and gave out many samples and produce.
- In 2013 we constructed a Deer Fence to protect the garden from deer, fox and groundhogs. In previous years the varmints caused much disappointment and lots of missing food! The fence project was led by community volunteers and the Cottage City Public Works Department.
- During the Summer of 2013, students from the Port Towns Youth Council’s Wellness Ambassadors Health Policy Summer Camp worked with our Master Gardener to Mark Haskell to create a Garden Cookbook.
- In 2014, we constructed a new water cistern to provide water to the garden.
- During spring 2015, we rebuilt many of the original beds. This work was done by Port Town’s Youth Council parents, and of course Cottage City Community Members.
- In 2015, the Cottage City Community Garden began a partnership with ECO City Farms. Monthly, we meet with Christian Melendez, Founding Farmer and Agricultural Educator to learn more about composting, irrigation, and he assisting us in planting. Under his direction we built two new compost systems.
- In 2019 the Cottage City Community Garden accomplished a lot:
- The garden was certified as Baywise for promoting healthy and sustainable growing practices to support the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
- We launched our ever popular Wind Down Wednesdays, turning the garden into a monthly watering hole for family and friends.
- We hosted three awesome workshops on adapting your garden to climate change and on gardening for busy professionals, and winterizing your garden
- Hosted more than 160 youth volunteers throughout the growing season with partnerships with the Port Towns Youth Council, Port Towns Youth Wellness Ambassadors, Summer Youth Employment Program, and Capital Christian Academy.
- Partnered with the Prince George’s County Food Equity Council to sponsor a racial equity training in the food system workshop.
- Constructed new garden beds that exceed ADA standards and help to support gardeners of all ages and abilities
- Hosted a Garden Taste and Tour Through a partnership with the Prince George’s County Food Equity Council
- Added new doors on garden shed
- Installed a gutter and a rain barrel shed
- Finished the Sign Project which included constructing a roof and installing a back bulletin board and stained
- Officially named the cistern “Demetrius Givens Cistern” and