Edible garden project at Merrick House transcends mere hobby

Three years ago, Coral Gables resident Donna Reno and several neighbors got together to plant an edible garden in a rather special spot, the back yard of the historic Merrick House.

Once the Merrick House Governing Board granted permission, the team went to work. But before very long, what began as a small neighborly effort blossomed into much more – a movement to help educate the community about growing good food in a sustainable way.

Today, the Edible Community Gardens Project is the only community garden at a home designated as historic in South Florida — this one where Coral Gables founder George Merrick lived at 907 Coral Way.

“The garden represents more than growing food; it demonstrates the importance of using the Earth to create sustainability,” Reno explained. “Our volunteers work toward creating a meaningful urban space that enhances neighborhoods and lives.”

Reno says the garden also is a place to bring people together to learn about gardening and environmentally friendly practices such as organic gardening. “In the process,” she added, “awareness is also raised about the Merrick House and grounds, about the need to continue to promote and preserve them.”

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