What we do: Garden

Central Avenue Gardens, originally known as Fall Creek Gardens, emerged in response to a neighborhood survey that showed a wide-spread interest in home gardening. Mapleton-Fall Creek residents wanted a gardening hub, where they could build a community garden, share resources, and most importantly share food-growing knowledge.

Our primary purpose is to teach others how to grow  food, whether that is just a few herbs in a sunny window, a huge backyard garden, or a plot in a nearby community garden. Food (unlike money) DOES grow on trees (and vines and branches …), and so we also cover topics like organic orcharding, beekeeping, and tending backyard chickens.

We also want to make sure that all urban gardeners, whether beginners or experts, are aware of the importance of testing their soil to safely grow food (see the Garden Safe Garden Well guide). Check our calendar for workshops on this and other topics such as building rain barrels or gardening with native plants.

The original garden project began in 2011 with four raised beds and space for an orchard. Since then, more than 30 families and individuals in Mapleton-Fall Creek and nearby neighborhoods have become involved. While most of our community garden (CG) plots are 12” tall raised beds, you’ll find seated-height and standing-height beds for those not able to stoop or kneel while gardening. With four beds reserved as a Children’s Garden, we welcome gardeners of all ages and abilities to rent and maintain a plot in the community garden and grow fresh, organic produce for themselves and their families!

Our community gardeners are welcome to bring their own seeds, plants, and tools, but are also encouraged to utilize the tools and supplies in our storage shed, and to take advantage of the generous donations we periodically receive, such as seeds packets and transplants from local stores and other gardeners.

Our gardening season for the CG begins each spring with an organizational meeting. At this meeting, both new and old gardeners are asked for input on the collective rules for the garden, select plots, sign a gardening agreement, and pay rental fees. Thanks to a gift from Tabernacle Presbyterian Church, we also have a small scholarship fund if you are unable to pay the rental fees.

If you live in the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood and are interested in renting your own plot, or if you have any questions, please contact us at info@centralavenuegardens.org to learn more and receive an invitation to our organizational meeting in the spring.

Children’s Garden

girl scoutsThe Children’s Garden at Fall Creek Gardens started as one corner of one of the larger community garden beds in 2012. In the second year, the Grow-N-Indy program from the Mayor’s Front Porch Alliance made it possible for us to build more beds and set aside four of them for kids to maintain and for child-focused garden programming.

Girl Scout Troop #283 has been among those who have volunteered during the growing season to plant, maintain, and harvest from the Children’s Garden. They have also helped community gardeners in need of assistance with their plots while out of town, or when they are too busy to harvest regularly in their plot. In addition to supplementing a late afternoon snack for the Girl Scouts, the produce is donated to either the Mid-North-Food Pantry or the Julian Center.

We are very fond and proud of this bright, talented group of young women! Thank you, Troop #283!!