Growing community, one garden at a time

Madisonville is a quiet neighborhood of Cincinnati located adjacent to Mariemont and Indian Hill. We notice Madisonville because of its strategic location to and from these suburban villages, not to stop, but to pass by. For the past five years, however, this neighborhood is changing. New families intentionally moved in and settled in the neighborhood. Right now there are three new coffee shops and development of market rate housing underway.  

There also has been a grass-root movement to empower the community in sustainable living and self-sufficiency. Sidestream Foundation and Lighthouse Youth Services Community school, for the past three years, have been working together in the 500 gardens of Madisonville and 500 chicken coops of Madisonville. The goal is to encourage community to grow their own food. The 500 gardens of Madisonville provides a raised bed, including soil and seeds and community resources to anyone interested in getting in the dirt. They also sell the produce on their market garden every other week. 

Currently there are about 100 gardens blooming from this and more chickens are adopted this year. Volunteers and leaders are crucial in this effort, and once you meet Steve Rock, you know that they are in a good place. Steve's day job is with the EPA, but his commitment in getting this program running and working in the community can be seen everyday. He's the one training the new gardeners, twice a week, about how to start a garden, encouraging them to get in the dirt.

Written by Dyah Miller for arteologie. Please contact me at dyahkmiller at gmail dot com for reuse.