Jewish Federation to build community garden to benefit food bank
BY MIKE AVERILL World Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
6/13/12 at 3:52 AM
The Jewish Federation of Tulsa will begin construction on a 6,500-square-foot community garden on its campus, the group announced Tuesday.
All the produce grown in the garden will be donated to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
The federation's executive director, Drew Diamond, said the one word that comes to mind is "beauty."
"It's the beauty of the campus, of the community, the beauty of providing services to those in need and the beauty in the design," he said.
The garden, near the campus entrance at 2021 E. 71st St., will be designed in the shape of the Star of David.
"The Star of David design is important to us," Diamond said. "It represents unity and service and points in all direction in terms of our commitment to service."
Federation Deputy Director Karen Blum said construction on the garden is scheduled to begin June 23, with plans to plant in August for a fall harvest.
She said the project goes hand in hand with the Jewish tenet "tikkun olam," which means "repairing the world."
"It's our responsibility to leave the world a better place than when we found it, so this just makes sense," she said.
"We know hunger is a real problem in Tulsa and northeastern Oklahoma," he said. "We wanted to meet the mission of repairing the world. We also wanted to build a garden that is sustainable, will provide a significant amount of food and has aesthetic value."
The garden eventually will feature a fruit orchard, a meditation area, a kids area and a greenhouse.
The garden will produce 4,450 pounds of vegetables per year, and the trees will produce 6,400 pounds of fruit, for an annual total of 10,840 pounds of food for the food bank.
The garden will be watered by a solar-powered irrigation system with a well that was drilled on site.
Victoria Bartlett, the wife of Mayor Dewey Bartlett, said the garden will be an important step in feeding Tulsa's hungry.
"We've hit the benchmark mother lode of community gardens in Tulsa," she said, noting that Oklahoma ranks last in the U.S. in consumption of fruits and vegetables.
"With this initiative today, eastern Oklahoma is on its way up. This will be a great source of pride for our community."
The Jewish Federation of Tulsa is still collecting donations for the project. Donations can be made online at tulsaworld.com/jewishfederation
Original Print Headline: Food bank to reap benefit of group's garden
Mike Averill 918-581-8489
This artist's rendering shows the design of the community garden that will be built on the Jewish Federation of Tulsa's campus. Courtesy