Alice Blake and Delores Shaw of the Ashbury Senior Computer Community Center did a fantastic little write-up on Sandra Robertson’s Ashbury Sprouts Community Garden right down the road on E. 111 St. explaining how Sandra decided to get into gardening and her goals for the space.

Seed Sown/Harvest Reaped – 

“Community Garden is a piece of land cultivated by members of a community in urban areas to grow their food or donate what they have grown. Such land helps in nurturing a sense of togetherness and socialization within the community. The gardens encourage food security within the community.

Community gardens beautify the area and provide a stopping point for conversation and is a great positive ice-breaker for meeting people. It also helps our children better understand where their food source derives from. Community gardens create friendships and build community spirit. Ashbury Sprouts, located on East 111th Street off Ashbury Avenue is one such garden, which is under the direction of Ms. Sandra Robertson.  As a child, she was taught the different methods of gardening by her father. She incorporates the old and traditional gardening methods along with more recent, innovative ideas into the Ashbury Sprouts Gardens. It is the desire of Sandra to plant sweet potatoes which contains the essential carbohydrates of all staple foods and is an ideal vegetable to try and grow.

We have now come to learn that it was the slaves’ diet that was primarily responsible for their near-perfect health. Small gardens that were planted adjacent to the slaves’ cabins produced an abundance of fresh produce for the majority of the year. These gardens oftentimes produced 15 or more different vegetables.”

You can see the completed article here, which includes a fantastic recipe for Sweet Potato Pund Cake!