The Edna White Community Garden, 1850 S. Monterey Ave., is a beautiful place to visit. Filled with colorful native plants, bountiful vegetables and herbs (most of which help to feed hungry neighbors), meandering paths and buzzing beehives, it’s a place to truly enjoy nature right here in the neighborhood.
Soon visitors will be offered a chance to get an up-close view of the bees and insects at work with the construction of a bee and insect observatory.
The structure will overlook the garden’s half dozen beehives on one side and a newly cleared space that will be filled with butterfly and insect-attracting plants on another. A glassed in hive will be built into the structure so people can observe the bees making honey and doing other jobs in the hive.
The new observatory is being funded through an $8,000 grant.The small building will offer safe way to watch bees, butterflies and other insects as they go about their business as essential partners in a successful garden.
“We wanted to put more emphasis on bees,” said Kathy Figel, executive director of the Garden, explaining that garden visitors frequently stop to watch the bees buzzing around in the fenced-off hive area. The garden has two of the hives and beekeeper Cedrick Jordan has four; Figel said they are hoping to add more. The hives yield a modest honey that is offered for sale.
Other projects planned at the garden include putting up a hoop house where solar energy can be used to enable volunteer gardeners to start plants early and extend the growing season longer to maximize the amount of fresh food they can supply to area food pantries. Volunteers from the 19th Ward Mutual Aid organization are installing a refrigerated free box for perishable items next to the existing free box of non-perishable items maintained by Turpin Cares. These boxes offer emergency food to people in need.
The Edna White Garden invites people to volunteer with gardening chores, and to visit for live music, yoga and meditation classes and other special events, weather permitting. Keep up on events