The Results Are In: Best. Garden Tour. Ever.

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The numbers have been officially crunched, and we're so pleased to report that the fourth annual South Philly Garden Tour was our most successful one yet!

Here's a recap of #GardenTour14 by the numbers:

  • 23 gardens from Second to 10th streets, Fitzwater to Moore
  • 200 tickets sold for a total of $4,180
  • 200 swag bags distributed
  • 38 wonderful sponsors rounding up $8,000 in cash and $4,425 in-kind donations
  • $227 in swag sales, including mugs and limited-edition tees
  • new Co-op member and a bunch of new followers on Instagram and Twitter
  • raindrops from 1 to 4 p.m.

That all adds up to a glorious grand total of $12,180 raised for the South Philly Food Co-op!

Many thanks to all who contributed to making our tour a great success! That includes those of you who recruited gardens and sponsors, promoted the invite to media, neighbors and friends, volunteered your time, took the tour, and talked up the Co-op in general. We couldn't have done it without you.

#GardenTour 14 in the News

The fourth annual South Philly Garden Tour, a self-guided exploration of the green spaces hidden in South Philly's concrete jungle, is just around the corner. As we count down to the big day, your friendly neighborhood co-op blog team is here to remind you of all the most crucial reasons why you should join us on Saturday, September 6, 1-4 p.m., for our biggest fundraiser of the year.

Hot Off the PressIt's Garden Tour Eve! To celebrate this special made-up holiday, we're rounding up some truly wonderful press that the fourth annual South Philly Garden Tour has been garnering over the last few weeks. (And don't forget to grab your tickets today for only $20! They'll be $25 at the door tomorrow.)

First up, our local paper of record gave us some major love this week! Big thanks to reporter Bill Chenevert and the South Philly Review for coming to visit two of our 23 gardens and getting a taste of what #GardenTour14 is all about. 

Our biggest fundraiser of the year made it into The Philadelphia Inquirer's weekend roundup in print, and philly.com's online.

KYW-Newsradio's Lauren Lipton spoke with Programming and Events Chairwoman Leigh Goldenberg about this year's tour for her "Positively Philadelphia" segment, which also appeared on The Daily Meal.

Speaking of local radio, the Garden Tour appeared in WHYY/Newsworks' weekly Entertainment Guide, sharing the stage with the Fringe Festival, Dilworth Plaza's grand opening and many more fun events. (But ours is the best.)

We've also gotten shout-outs on Curbed, PhillyMag, Uwishunu, Generocity, Green Philly Blog, the Examiner and more! Can't wait to see you tomorrow.

The Fourth Annual South Philly Garden Tour
Saturday, September 6, 1-4 p.m. (Rain date: Sunday, September 7, 1-4 p.m.)
Check-in: Gold Star Park, 613 Wharton St.
The Garden Tour is the South Philly Food Co-op’s biggest annual fundraiser, with all proceeds directly supporting costs associated with opening a community-owned and -operated full-service grocery store. Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door. 
Click here for more information about this year’s tour or to get your tickets today.

 


Garden Tour Countdown: Stocking up the bar with this garden

The fourth annual South Philly Garden Tour, a self-guided exploration of the green spaces hidden in South Philly's concrete jungle, is just around the corner. As we count down to the big day, your friendly neighborhood co-op blog team is here to remind you of all the most crucial reasons why you should join us on Saturday, September 6, 1-4 p.m., for our biggest fundraiser of the year.

Talk about supporting locally grown! Neighborhood favorite The Wishing Well at 9th and Catharine Sts. has been a favorite hangout and longtime supporter of the Co-op as one of our Shop South Philly partners. This year they join us as one of the 23 (!) gardens on the Garden Tour. Flowers and herbs create a relaxing neighborhood spot to enjoy a meal or a few drinks at their outdoor tables. And their green is as much about function as it is about form. They are growing rosemary, lavender, mint, and basil and can add those herbs to a number of different refreshing cocktails to enjoy on these late summer days. And at the risk of burying the lede: They will be offering a 15% discount on food and beverages for garden tour guests!

The rest of this week leading up to the Tour on Saturday is shaping up to be one of the warmer ones of the summer. As we continue our countdown, below are some suggested cocktails using the herbs featured at the Wishing Well for you to enjoy each night this week. Figure out which one you like best and get a few with that 15% discount on Saturday!

(Click links for recipes)

Tonight: Vodka Rosemary Lemonade Fizz

Wednesday: Lavender-Honey Sidecar

Thursday: The Real Mojito

Friday: Cucumber, Basil & Lime Gimlet

[UPDATE:

Our friends at The Wishing Well got in touch with us to say they've developed a specialty cocktail menu for the event as well as a few beers on special. They also wanted to remind us that anyone with a garden tour ticket stub or food co-op membership card will also receive 15% off their check.

Cocktails

Rosemary Lemon Gin and Soda
Blue Coat Gin, Honey Rosemary Simple Syrup, Lemon, Soda

Strawberry Basil Lemonade
Absolut Citron Vodka, Fresh Strawberry Basil Lemonade

Ginger Mint Mojito
Bacardi White Rum, Ginger Simple Syrup, Mint, Lime, Soda

Jalapeño Cilantro Margarita
Cazadores Blanco Tequila, Triple Sec, Jalapeno, Cilantro, Fresh Sour Mix

Beer

Philadelphia Brewing Company Kenzinger
Commonwealth Traditional Dry Cider]

GARDEN TOUR DETAILS

South Philly Garden Tour
Saturday, September 6th, 1 - 4 pm (Rain date: Sunday, September 7th)
Check-in: Gold Star Park, 613 Wharton St
The Garden Tour is the South Philly Food Co-op’s biggest annual fundraiser, with all proceeds directly supporting costs associated with opening a community-owned and -operated full-service grocery store. Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door and are available on-line or at several locations throughout the neighborhood. Click here for more information about this year’s tour and to find out how to get your tickets today.

@southphillyfoodcoop
#GardenTour14


Garden Tour Countdown: Everything you need to know.

The fourth annual South Philly Garden Tour, a self-guided exploration of the green spaces hidden in South Philly's concrete jungle, is just around the corner. As we count down to the big day, your friendly neighborhood co-op blog team is here to remind you of all the most crucial reasons why you should join us on Saturday, September 6, 1-4 pm, for our biggest fundraiser of the year.

Are you procrastinating on getting your tickets to this year's Garden Tour? Well, now is the time to secure your opportunity to see some of the best private gardens in South Philly and get tons of free swag and food in the process!

Check out all the free stuff in store for you when you buy your ticket to the #GardenTour14:

And don’t forget about the after Party at The Industry at 1401 E Moyamensing Ave. They’ll have lots of hors d’ouevres and drink specials just for Garden Tour attendees starting at 4pm! So, what are you waiting for? Get your tickets to the hottest event of the year!

EVENT DETAILS

South Philly Garden Tour
Saturday, September 6, 1-4 p.m. (Rain date: Sunday, September 7, 1-4 p.m.)
Check-in: Gold Star Park, 613 Wharton St.
The Garden Tour is the South Philly Food Co-op’s biggest annual fundraiser, with all proceeds directly supporting costs associated with opening a community-owned and -operated full-service grocery store. Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door. 
Click here for more information about this year’s tour or to get your tickets today.


Garden Tour Countdown: The Accidental Tea Garden

The fourth annual South Philly Garden Tour, a self-guided exploration of the green spaces hidden in South Philly's concrete jungle, is just around the corner. As we count down to the big day, your friendly neighborhood co-op blog team is here to remind you of all the most crucial reasons why you should join us on Saturday, September 6, 1-4 p.m., for our biggest fundraiser of the year.

There is a Japanese tea garden in South Philly. Really! And you can see it on this year's garden tour.

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When the owner was digging to create the garden, he unearthed many artifacts from the late 19th and early 20th century. They've been replaced with over a ton of boulder and stone, and plants including Japanese maple, Hinoki cypress, Japanese black pine and heavenly bamboo. The water feature, statuary and bamboo fencing all contribute to the peaceful feeling. The owner's favorite thing about the garden is that it is a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

This Asian-inspired oasis won first place in the 2007 Pennsylvania Horticultural Society City Gardens competition. Come see it for yourself at the Garden Tour!

EVENT DETAILS

South Philly Garden Tour
Saturday, September 6, 1-4 p.m. (Rain date: Sunday, September 7, 1-4 p.m.)
Check-in: Gold Star Park, 613 Wharton St.
The Garden Tour is the South Philly Food Co-op’s biggest annual fundraiser, with all proceeds directly supporting costs associated with opening a community-owned and -operated full-service grocery store. Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door. 
Click here for more information about this year’s tour or to get your tickets today.


Garden Tour Countdown: A Family Tradition Garden

The fourth annual South Philly Garden Tour, a self-guided exploration of the green spaces hidden in South Philly's concrete jungle, is just around the corner. As we count down to the big day, your friendly neighborhood co-op blog team is here to remind you of all the most crucial reasons why you should join us on Saturday, September 6, 1-4 p.m., for our biggest fundraiser of the year.

sourbeer_garden.jpgA sneak peek at the Sourbeer garden. Get the whole picture by doing the Tour! (And be sure to ask about the potato box!)

Hot pink, vertical potatoes, garden...farm...jungle. Those are just a few of the words one can use to describe the garden of Maria and Jim Sourbeer of South 11th near Tasker. Another important word comes to mind even if it's not immediately on display in their backyard cornucopia: tradition.

Perhaps more than any other garden on the Tour, Maria and Jim's garden is a real South Philadelphia story--a mix of old and new and a strong tight-knit family. While five generations of Maria's family have tilled this garden, Maria and Jim have put their own distinctive mark on the place. In an efficiently used space that is at the same time relaxing and bustlingly productive, their garden is yielding a crop that includes squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes (be sure to ask Jim about the potato box!), horseradish, eggplant and hot peppers! 

GARDEN TOUR DETAILS

South Philly Garden Tour
Saturday, September 6th, 1 - 4 pm (Rain date: Sunday, September 7th)
Check-in: Gold Star Park, 613 Wharton St
The Garden Tour is the South Philly Food Co-op’s biggest annual fundraiser, with all proceeds directly supporting costs associated with opening a community-owned and -operated full-service grocery store. Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door and are available on-line or at several locations throughout the neighborhood. Click here for more information about this year’s tour and to find out how to get your tickets today.

@southphillyfoodcoop
#GardenTour14


Garden Tour Countdown: The Race is On!

The fourth annual South Philly Garden Tour, a self-guided exploration of the green spaces hidden in South Philly's concrete jungle, is just around the corner. As we count down to the big day, your friendly neighborhood co-op blog team is here to remind you of all the most crucial reasons why you should join us on Saturday, September 6, 1-4 p.m., for our biggest fundraiser of the year.

Limited Charity Fundraising Bibs for the Philly 10K Race now available!static.squarespace.com.png

Did you want to run the inaugural year of Philly 10K race in September but got shut out of the lottery? Well, here’s your chance to get your bib for the city’s coolest new SOLD OUT race that starts and ends right in East Passyunk.

Our friends at the Philly 10K have provided the South Philly Food Co-op with a limited amount of Charity Fundraising Bibs to sell to the public for the big race on Saturday, September 6th.  These bibs grant you entry to the race, a member-priced ticket to the Garden Tour and solidify your status as a Member-Owner of everyone’s favorite theoretical* grocery store. Oh, and your charitable contribution gets us one big step closer to opening a real community-run grocery store in South Philly!

Start your day racing through the city streets, grab a specially brewed Philadelphia Brewing Company beer from the post-race festival and then cool down with a stroll through the hidden garden spaces of South Philadelphia on our 4th Annual Garden Tour along with all your neighbors and new fellow member-owners.

For more info on how to purchase your bib and gain access to the hottest garden tour of the year, plus make a charitable contribution to the South Philly Food Co-op, email us at events@southphillyfoodcoop.com.

Premium Package - $500: Limited Edition Charity Bib + More
Includes Philly 10K Entrance Fee and Tshirt, a Garden Tour Member Ticket, Co-op Membership Equity and a generous tax-deductible donation

Just the Philly 10K Bib - $100: Cost of entrance fee plus a small donation to support South Philly Food Co-op in our goal to open a local community grocery store

Purchase your Race Bib here by Tuesday, September 2nd!

 

PHILLY 10K RACE DETAILS:

Saturday September 6th, 7:30 am, Rain or Shine
Start: East Passyunk and Reed St
Finish: Tasker and 8th
Festival at Tasker and East Passyunk
The race is now SOLD OUT.

@thephilly10k
#THEPHILLY10K 

GARDEN TOUR DETAILS

South Philly Garden Tour
Saturday, September 6th, 1 - 4 pm (Rain date: Sunday, September 7th)
Check-in: Gold Star Park, 613 Wharton St
The Garden Tour is the South Philly Food Co-op’s biggest annual fundraiser, with all proceeds directly supporting costs associated with opening a community-owned and -operated full-service grocery store. Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Click here for more information about this year’s tour or to get your tickets today.

@southphillyfoodcoop
#GardenTour14

* for now


Garden Tour Countdown: Paolone Park

The fourth annual South Philly Garden Tour, a self-guided exploration of the green spaces hidden in South Philly's concrete jungle, is just around the corner. As we count down to the big day, your friendly neighborhood co-op blog team is here to remind you of all the most crucial reasons why you should join us on Saturday, September 6, 1-4 p.m., for our biggest fundraiser of the year.

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(the early days of Paolone Park)

I'm super excited to tell you about my neighborhood gem, Paolone Park. This tiny triangle-shaped park is one of the hidden secrets of South Philly, well loved by those who live here and the many people who enjoy walking through on their way to work or strolls around the neighborhood. The park was dedicated in the early 1980s and apparently once featured pony rides!  

Now the trees are mature and there are numerous flower beds which are maintained by the neighbors and bring color to the park throughout the seasons. Spring showcases the diverse range of tree blossoms - from magnolia to dogwood, weeping cherry, apple and redbud.  

Neighbors worked with local artist Isaiah Zagar to create one of his trademark murals and bring additional light into the narrow street. Residents enjoy the fact that the streets are no-parking, making it a true garden block and creating a wonderful sense of community. There are regular parties and potlucks, an inflatable pool in the summer and a chiminea in the cold weather.   

Come see for yourself what makes Paolone Park so special!

EVENT DETAILS

South Philly Garden Tour
Saturday, September 6, 1-4 p.m. (Rain date: Sunday, September 7, 1-4 p.m.)
Check-in: Gold Star Park, 613 Wharton St.
The Garden Tour is the South Philly Food Co-op’s biggest annual fundraiser, with all proceeds directly supporting costs associated with opening a community-owned and -operated full-service grocery store. Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door. 
Click here for more information about this year’s tour or to get your tickets today.


Garden Tour Countdown: Lend Us a Hand

The fourth annual South Philly Garden Tour, a self-guided exploration of the green spaces hidden in South Philly's concrete jungle, is just around the corner. As we count down to the big day, your friendly neighborhood co-op blog team is here to remind you of all the most crucial reasons why you should join us on Saturday, September 6, 1-4 p.m., for our biggest fundraiser of the year.

The South Philly Garden Tour is always a great time and has become the Co-op's largest fundraiser for the year, but here's the thing: We need your help to make it a success.

We are looking for people who can help out for a couple of hours at any point during the day, from setup at 10:30 a.m. to after-party cleanup in the evening, and everything in between. Here's why you should consider volunteering for the Tour:

    • This is a great way to meet some fellow Co-op members. We're pretty great if we do say so ourselves! (We're also very modest.)
    • Any help you provide counts toward your household's annual membership hours. Not a member yet? That's OK, we still record your hours and will apply them to your account when you become a member.
    • You get to hang out outdoors! Have you noticed how fantastic the weather has been this summer? September is only going to be better, and vitamin D is a great thing.
    • Most importantly, if the Garden Tour is successful, we are that much closer to getting our Co-op off the ground, and we just can't do it without you!

So check out the details, sign up for a shift, and enjoy what has become one of the best Co-op events of the year!

Read more

We got the Skinny on Fats and LOVED it!

Last night about a dozen Co-op members and supporters gathered at the home of the wonderful Sarah Radcliffe (Programs and Events Committee member and supplier of some great adult beverages) to Eat and Learn about healthy fats from certified health coach D'Arcy Webb. (Or rather, Learn then Nosh since D'Arcy smartly realized she'd hold our attention that much better with the promise of tasting the wonderful things she was describing.) Guests also enjoyed a growler of Homebrew Champion and Program and Events Committee member Andy Arsenault's Clymer Street Saison. (See... this is why we go to events like this... you never know what kind of treats will be there!)

In addition to learning from D'Arcy about the health benefits of grass-fed butter (which was consumed in great quantity last night), olive oil, olives, toasted sesame seeds and sesame seed butter, cashews, avocado (a fruit with 4 grams of protein), something called ghee, those assembled were also let in on the apparently magical properties of coconut oil. In fact, this writer is drinking coffee right now that contains a couple big spoonfuls of this elixir. Here's some other fun properties of coconut oil:

1. For aiding with teeth whitening and gum health, people have been known to swish a couple tablespoons of coconut oil in their mouths for about 15 minutes a day. Probably best done when you don't have an impending speaking engagement. (Just don't spit it down the drain since it solidifies at about 72 degrees which will be a bit of a problem for your pipes.)

2. Coconut oil is a fantastic moisturizer especially on the face.

3. Of course, you can cook with it in a number of recipes that call for other kinds of oil. It's a much healthier alternative to corn and canola oil, for example.

4. D'Arcy even claimed it to be good for... unmentionable regions... of the body for health and for fun. So there's that.

Following the chat, the group moved on to tasting some great sesame seed butter, olives, grass-fed butter, and the highlight of the night: a chocolate mousse made from avocado, dates, cacao powder and a dash of cinnamon. It tasted as good as any conventional chocolate mousse and was waaaay more healthy than that bag of nacho cheese chips you're probably holding right now. (This snack will be a regular part of this writer's diet!) To prove that she hadn't slipped some conventional mousse into the mix, D'Arcy made an additional batch in a small food processor and shared the end product with everyone. Dee-lish!

Special thanks once again to D'Arcy for a great evening, Sarah for hosting and providing beverages, Andy for the Saison, and our great Programs and Events Committee for yet another wonderful event.


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