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.

accidental_tea_garden.JPG

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.

 PaolonePark.jpg

(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

Garden Tour Recap: Numbers Don't Lie

IMG_9225 Photo by Michael Holmes

Ladies and gentlemen, the Third Annual South Philly Garden Tour numbers have been crunched, and we've got a whole lot of exciting news to share. We'll let the numbers speak for themselves:

    • $9,605 raised 
    • 171 tickets sold
    • 26 sponsors
    • 16 gardens
    • 8 new member-households (welcome, Jon; Abbe and Steve; Greg and Tami; Paul and Kathy; Francesca, Stephen and Josie; Kimiko; Maggie and David; and Lindsay and Seth!)
    • and, last but not least, 1 incredible day in the sunshine with our neighbors, friends and community members, moving swiftly toward our goal of opening our member-owned grocery store in South Philly!


The money we raised on Saturday will go toward ongoing costs, site analysis and keeping our equity costs in reserve for the store itself. To see for yourself how much fun we had, check out our Garden Tour photo album on Flickr, courtesy of marketing/communications committee volunteer Michael Holmes.

Thanks so much to everyone who helped make this year's Garden Tour such an incredible success


Garden Tour Countdown: The (press) hits just keep on comin'!

As we prepare for the 3rd Annual South Philly Garden Tour on Saturday, September 7 from 1pm to 5pm, we’re spending this time on our blog introducing a number of the cool features that tour-goers will experience at the event. If you’ve missed any of the Countdown you can see all of them here. Information about buying tickets for the tour can be found here.

newspaper_extra_copyAw, shucks. We'd like to give a special shout-out to the Philadelphia media outlets that've taken notice of our Garden Tour! Do us a favor and give these folks some clicks:


  • KYW-Newsradio: Lauren Lipton interviewed our own Programs & Events Committee mastermind Leigh Goldenberg about why folks looking for garden inspiration should attend the tour for her segment "Positively Philadelphia." Leigh says: “[Participants will] go behind people’s backyards and see a little concrete space that might look a lot like their concrete space, but somebody has been creative and really turned it into something beautiful.”


  • Passyunk Post: Our go-to neighborhood news outlet is one of this year's Garden Tour sponsors. In exchange for spending a few minutes answering a survey, the Post will enter your name in a free-ticket drawing. Sweet!


  • Hidden City Philadelphia: We like this take on the tour as voyeurism-without-the-creepy-factor: "Now in its third year, the garden tour offers a legit excuse for you to snoop around people’s front and back yards, silently critiquing their garden skills, but more importantly, breathing in a little fresh air in the mini soft green spaces in the big hard gray section of town."


  • Uwishunu: Ever thoughtful and comprehensive, Uwishunu focuses on the perks of attending as well as where the money's going.




  • Daily Candy Philadelphia: We're blushing! So exciting to be part of Daily Candy's keenly curated Weekend Guide.


  • Grid Philly: Another one of our excellent sponsors, Grid gave us a shout on its sustainability-minded blog.

  • Plus great coverage from PlanPhillyPropertyGenerocity, Curbed Philly, the South Philly Review's event listings, the Inquirer's Garden Scoop and more!

Don't forget — you've got till midnight to buy your tickets for a cool $20; they'll be $25 at the door. See you tomorrow!

Garden Tour Countdown: Window Box Workshop

As we prepare for the 3rd Annual South Philly Garden Tour on Saturday, September 7 from 1pm to 5pm, we're spending this time on our blog introducing a number of the cool features that tour-goers will experience at the event. If you've missed any of the Countdown you can see all of them here. Information about buying tickets for the tour can be found here.

Photo by Jeff Fusco. Courtesy of EPX. Photo by Jeff Fusco. Courtesy of EPX.

In case you haven’t heard, this Saturday, the South Philly Food Co-op hosts the third annual South Philly Garden Tour. And from 2 to 3:30pm, the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association (EPX) is offering a FREE Fall Window Box Workshop led by our friends at Urban Jungle. They’ll lead a demonstration of techniques and tricks to putting together the perfect fall window box — all leading up to an exciting Window Box Contest (September 20  – October 5). Pick up your entry form during the Tour and you just might win a $75 gift card to a local restaurant!

Urban Jungle and EPX will be on site at the Community Garden housed at Neuman-Goretti High School (1736 S 10th St.) throughout the afternoon with continuous workshops being held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. No registration is required — just show up with your questions and enthusiasm.

For more details on the window box contest, please visit the East Passyunk Crossing website.

This Window Box Workshop makes the perfect pitstop on your Garden Tour. And even more good news: There’s still time to get your discounted tickets. Buy now and get them for $20 each ($25 on the day of). Tickets can be purchased online or at Breezy’s CafeUltimo Coffee NewboldUrban Jungle and The Wishing Well.

Garden Tour Countdown: Hardly the Last Straw

As we prepare for the 3rd Annual South Philly Garden Tour on Saturday, September 7 from 1pm to 5pm, we're spending this time on our blog introducing a number of the cool features that tour-goers will experience at the event. If you've missed any of the Countdown you can see all of them here. Information about buying tickets for the tour can be found here.

What do you see when you open your back door? For me, it's a brick wall, a recycling bin, and a whole lot of concrete. In other words, no dirt and certainly not the luscious loam that would feed the production of tasty tomatoes, cool cucumbers, or zippy zucchini. This has become one of my main excuses for not gardening. Where would I do it? You, too? Well, we're both in trouble. Apparently some creative folks have invented a way to garden without dirt: straw bales.

Straw bale garden in action.

Yup, according to the august New York Times, gardeners are using straw bales, treated with a little fertilizer and water, to create insta-gardens that are cheap and, bonus!, require no stooping to pluck the few weeds that may pop up. Pretty ingenious, right? But now you've probably got more questions than one article or even a Facebook page could answer. Lucky for you, one of the stops on the Garden Tour on September 7, will feature straw bales. A couple of enterprising local gardeners have decked out half of their plot with a dozen straw bales growing organic veggies from seed and will be able to help you with your questions on how to get started. The rest of their garden, too, is a mini-paradise with fig trees and fragrant climbing jasmine, and well worth the visit.

Buy your tickets today! Buy now and get them for $20 each. They will be $25 on the day of the tour. Tickets can be purchased online or at Breezy’s CafeUltimo Coffee NewboldUrban Jungle, and The Wishing Well.

Garden Tour Countdown: After the Party is the After-Party

As we prepare for the third annual South Philly Garden Tour on Saturday, September 7, from 1 to 5 p.m., we’re spending this time on our blog introducing a number of the cool features that tour-goers will experience at the event. If you’ve missed any of the Countdown, you can see all of them here. Information about buying tickets for the tour can be found here.

Photo by Brian Howard Tom Culton of Culton Organics. Photo by Brian Howard.

We already bragged a bit on the Garden Tour's most excellent after-party at the South Philadelphia Tap Room, but we've got a couple of exciting new details to share:

1) Chef/Twitter king Scott Schroeder will be providing some Garden Tour attendee-exclusive small bites, and local drafts will be half-off for all ticket-holders. (Check out the SPTR's full menu, which will also be available, by clicking here.)

2) Culton Organics mastermind/Headhouse Farmers Market king Tom Culton will hook us up with beautiful tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and other produce (hence those above small bites). Culton provides produce to restaurants across the city, including Fork and Farm & Fisherman, and we can't wait to celebrate the Garden Tour in a truly farm-to-table way. (More info on Culton Organics over at Philly Homegrown; or check out this 2009 City Paper story penned by none other than Co-op marketing committee member Brian Howard.)

Big thanks to our two after-party sponsors, Culton Organics and the SPTR!

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