Saturday, February 23, 2013

Old News That's New Again: Community Gardens

Last summer, the City of Rochester established a community garden, and the City of Rochester Hills is planning to establish one this year.  In both cases, the community garden was hailed as something new, but if we turn back 80 years in the pages of Rochester history to the Rochester Clarion issue of June 9, 1933, we find this story on the front page of the newspaper:
Forty-Seven Acres Sown For Community Project in Avon Township

   Avon Township's Community welfare gardens are underway. Forty-seven acres have been planted to root crops including potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, cabbage, sweet corn, squash, pumpkins and tomatoes. Twenty-seven acres have been tilled and sown on the former J. C. Day farm, just west of the village limits on the Pontiac road and the remaining twenty acres are located on the Crooks road. The gardens are being worked by welfare men using time slips the same as when they worked on the road. It is expected that a sufficient amount of vegetables will be raised on these gardens this summer for next winter's welfare supply.
   In addition to these community gardens, each welfare family has an individual garden which they take care of and have for their own use this summer.
   The township furnished the seeds for this project, purchasing them at a very reasonable price.
   Township officials have secured the assistance of K. D. Bailey, county agricultural agent. Mr. Bailey has stated the gardens were planted in excellent sod and heavy productivity can be assured. He will visit the gardens each month to note their progress and if at any time his assistance is needed he will gladly give it.
Similar projects are being carried out in neighboring townships and cities for their welfare use.

Avon Township is known as Rochester Hills today.  The J. C. Day farm referenced in the story later became known as the Great Oaks Stock Farm, located along West University/Walton on what was formerly referred to as the Pontiac road.

1 comment:

  1. My mother, Joan P. LaFave, was for many years the secretary to the manager of the Great Oaks Stock Farm.
    Michael J. LaFave