Urban garden pops up in Rittenhouse Square

June 22, 2012 3:32:46 PM PDT
Something has "popped up" in Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square, and it has residents buzzing - it's the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society's, "Pop-Up garden!"

The garden located at 19th and Walnut streets has transformed a former vacant lot, in the heart of Rittenhouse Square, into a place of beauty.

"Especially in urban areas like Philadelphia that have significant amount of land, some of it vacant. Urban gardening and urban farming is really coming back," said Mayor Michael Nutter.

The garden covers about one third of an acre and there are raised beds, brimming with a variety of annuals, perrinials, vegetables and herbs

The project is sponsored by Chipotle and highlighted by a communal table. It emphasizes the need for healthy food for all residents with the message: " bring everyone to the table."

Ayesha Fraser came to the grand opening on her lunchbreak.

"My mother raised me to appreciate gardening and I think it's great that they have these little havens in the city. Absolutely wonderful," said Fraser.

The focus is the PHS City Harvest program, which grows fresh produce through a network of community gardens and helps feed more than 1,000 families every week.

"It's also about access advocacy, activism, about so many things here in a space that was under-utilized," said Jane Golden of the Mural Arts Program.

The garden is open Tuesday-Friday from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, Thursday evenings from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm, and the second Saturday of each month from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm.

For now the garden will stay at its current location until the beginning of October.