- The Greenhouse
- The Emerald Street Garden
- The Liney Ditch Community Garden
- The Winslow Fruit Tree Orchard
- The Native Plant Nursery
- Ferry Ave Orchard
Down in Waterfront South, there are a number of gardens intermingled with row-homes, corner-cutting side streets, sandwich shops, and sidewalks. Within a few square blocks, one can find two orchards, a native plant nursery, a modern greenhouse, and two educational vegetable gardens. Here at CFET, we affectionately refer to all of these interconnected projects as Eve’s Gardens. Our urban farming projects gained their name from a local woman who found herself trapped in a lifestyle far from her ideals. Before our greenhouse was even built, Andrea Ferich, a local resident and gardener who worked with CFET for a number of years, invited Eve to work in our Emerald Street garden. Eve loved gardening and came by every day, helping Andrea and lifting her spirits. Today we honor Eve and the inspiration she provided us with by naming our garden operations in her memory.
Our 200 square foot greenhouse is where everything begins. In February and March we begin seeding brassicas, lettuce, nightshades, corn, herbs, and eventually cucurbits, giving us a head start on the growing season. We grow enough seedlings to fill our gardens, sell to area gardeners, and give to neighborhood residents interested in growing their own produce. If you’re interested in buying seedlings please contact our Farmer.
The greenhouse also functions as a classroom. Home to our stormwater management demos, visitors can see how to use gutters to collect storm water, how to set up bike powered watering systems, and how to build rain barrels. These projects help us connect our farm projects with other facets of environmental sustainability.
The Emerald Street Garden
Spanning four city lots, this garden is the showcase garden at CFET. The greenhouse sits on one side of the garden, and native plants populate the outside borders. The rear of the garden provides space for a shed, a compost pile, a chicken coop and a cob bread oven, as well as a space for our volunteers, workers, and neighborhood children to gather for lessons, games, and community.
The Liney Ditch Community Garden
At the foot of Jasper Street in Waterfront South, there is a beautiful city park. In the park, CFET manages a garden that serves as the source of most of the produce we grown each year. The tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, eggplants, tomatillos, husk cherries, potatoes, salad greens, bush and dry beans, collards, broccoli, cabbage, onions, garlic, okra, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc. can be found for sale at our weekly farmers’ market.
The Winslow Fruit Tree Orchard
On the corner of Winslow and Ancona streets, CFET adopted a lot that has become our fruit orchard. Over twenty years ago one of the neighbors planted a mulberry tree in the center of the lot in honor of his son. Now that tree is the largest and highest yielding, surrounded by a variety of baby fruit trees. In a few seasons we’ll have a large quantity of apples, pears, peaches, and cherries to distribute throughout the neighborhood.
The Orchard also has space for vegetable and herb production. The same neighbor that planted the mulberry tree continues to grow food for his family in some of this space. The rest is open to community use or CFET will manage as needed.
The Native Plant Nursery
Sitting on property owned by the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA) is our native plant nursery. The CCMUA processes all the waste from the toilets and drains of properties in Camden County. At one time the stench was almost unbearable. Thanks to the work of Andrew Kricun, current Executive Director of the CCMUA, that stench is almost completely gone. In 2010 Mr. Kricun assisted CFET in creating a native plant nursery on a side parcel of property running the length of a fence surrounding the CCMUA’s offices. Our plants enjoy maximal sun exposure and guaranteed water through the CCMUA’s sprinkling system which they let us use free of charge. In 2013 we built four raised beds at the Native Plant Nursery that are now home to perennial herbs.
The plants grown in the nursery are used in rain gardens throughout the city. These rain gardens help capture rain water, reducing street flooding and the amount of water that CCMUA needs to process at their facility.
The plants are also for sale for the wider community. If you’re interested in buying native plants please contact our Farmer.
Ferry Ave Orchard
On Ferry Avenue, CFET adopted a tree nursery that was being managed by The Heart of Camden. This nursery was originally home to young redbud, ash, and tulip poplar trees. In fall 2013 volunteers helped CFET staff remove the trees and clean up the lot and on October 15, 2013 it was transformed into our newest fruit orchard! Now home to young apricot, pear, plum, cherry, and plumcot trees the new orchard will serve as another outdoor classroom. To celebrate Arbor Day 2014 we worked with the New Jersey Tree Foundation to finish planting the orchard; adding asian pears, elderberries, figs and a persimmon tree.
This orchard is also home to our three bee hives.
What happened to the old trees? 12 were planted in Liney Ditch park as part of a much larger tree planting coordinated by the NJTF. The rest will be planted in local rain gardens and are available for area residents. If you’re interested in buying a tree please contact our Farmer.