McLaughlin Grows exists to bring food education to the community, to be a source of fresh food in a food desert and to bring beauty to the neighborhood.
McLaughlin Grows, affectionately known as “The Farm”, sits on busy Laketon Ave, adjacent to Hackley Hospital. Cars, buses, ambulances, and motorcycles drive quickly by, often unaware of this rural oasis in an urban desert. But if you take a few minutes to stop you will be transported into a different world. A world that delights all the senses.
Stop and smell the abundant herbs – mint, dill, rosemary and basil. Did you know that there are at least 4 kinds of basil - lemon, cinnamon, Thai, Greek?
Stop and look at the rainbow carrots - yellow, orange, purple, the edible Chrysanthemums, deep red tomatoes, spotted purple and green lettuce, white and green bok choy and swiss chard, bright red strawberries, dark green spinach, and brilliant yellow sun flowers. Take a quick peak in the Hoop House that makes it possible to grow vegetables in the colder seasons. Glance over the black wrought iron fence to catch a glimpse of neighbors who benefit from the free community garden called Growing Goods.
Stop and touch the different shapes of squash, the prickly cucumbers, the bumpy snap peas, the hard tendrils of the kohlrabi, the gritty earth, the droplets of dew on the plants.
Stop and listen to a working farm – voices of children from the local middle school who visit regularly for an introduction to where food really comes from, sounds of laughter and conversations of the YEP and AmeriCorps workers who weed, harvest, haul, dig and plant and the instruction of the farm manager teaching the new language of farming to city kids.
Every Wednesday afternoon, the gates to the farm are swung wide open, welcoming neighbors to purchase the home grown produce. One of the regulars is a woman who drops in every week to stock up on her fresh produce so she can share it with friends. Drivers pull their cars into the gravel lot to pick up their weekly CSA shares, going home with a bag full of aromatic freshly picked produce.
The Farm is an oasis in a desert and delights the senses. Stop in soon! Become a Friend on McGrows Facebook Page and check out more pics!!