Temple's community garden a neighborhood oasis

Mark Abrams
April 20, 2019 - 4:00 am
Connor Caruso, president of the Temple Community Garden, stands in front of some of the beds students and neighborhood residents will plant with vegetables.

Mark Abrams/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — An urban garden is providing a unique learning experience for Temple University students who are sharing the fresh vegetables it produces with their North Philadelphia neighbors.

Connor Caruso, a Temple junior from Pittsburgh, is president of the Temple Community Garden located at the corner of Diamond and Carlisle streets.

Connor Caruso checks out the progress of the strawberries growing in one of the raised beds.onnor Caruso checks out the progress of the strawberries growing in one of the raised beds.
Mark Abrams/KYW Newsradio

"Last year, we grew 40 varieties of plants ranging from your garden staples like tomatoes and cucumbers and peppers to new things that we try every year like okra and garlic," Caruso says. "We always try to challenge ourselves to do one or two new things each season."

Caruso says seeds were started several weeks ago inside growing pots placed in the solar-powered building erected on the site by the students.

The students and neighborhood volunteers are preparing to plant some 30 garden beds over the coming weeks.

"During this time of year in the spring we really get the garden ready," Caruso says. "But then we do have core group of about five or six students who will be around during the summer to do a little bit of upkeep. And, of course we rely on the surrounding community who's here all the time."

Connor Caruso inspects the tomatoes, lettuces, peppers and other plants started weeks ago and growing inside a special, solar-powered building erected by students on the Temple garden plot.
Mark Abrams/KYW Newsradio

Caruso says neighbors consider it an oasis and like to come onto the property to sit at picnic tables, relax and watch their garden grow.