Formed over a decade ago, the Filbert Street Community Garden lies just east of Farring Baybrook Park, and has become a thriving green space that houses local garden plots, wildlife and an eco-friendly, locally-run composting operation that employs area high schoolers. Grow Home staff have played integral roles in developing the garden over the years, including helping to recruit and establish local resident leadership of the land under the historic management of Ms. Rodette Jones who has since passed the reigns to Charles DeBarber. None-the-less Rodettes commitment to her community and garden are a resounding testament to her character and value to the community.
Now that the community garden has been established as a spot for community use and enjoyment, Grow Home is helping residents there take a more active role in management to incorporate as a 501c3 in 2020 and establish independent funding sources for future operations and growth including public access hours in the warm months and employing local teenagers to manage and maintenance famous local heroes like Ed the Goat.
Filbert Street Garden, Farring Baybrook and Garrett Park all fall within the Brooklyn/Curtis Bay/Hawkins Point census tract in far south Baltimore, which presents unique challenges with geographic isolation and environmental pollution as well as concentrations of poverty.
Over time, the Filbert Street Garden has added a variety of unique amenities, including an Apiary with bee colonies that provide local honey for sale, habitats for goats, chickens and other wildlife, as well as on-site composting, wi-fi, fruit trees and a greenhouse. The garden now employs local youth to serve as part-time staff to welcome visitors, feed animals and maintain the farm.