HB garden 1

Several residents and volunteers pitched in to help bring back the Hard Bargain neighborhood's community garden one Saturday in April.

What’s the saying? “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

That may at least partly explain why there was such a buzz of activity around the Hard Bargain neighborhood’s community garden on an April 2021 Saturday. Volunteers and residents of the historic neighborhood were all pitching in to help revitalize the small but potent garden in a vacant lot on Glass Street. It was one of the projects for the Hard Bargain Association’s spring community cleanup day.

The garden was created about 14 years ago as a way to not only provide vegetables, herbs and fruits for residents of the largely African American neighborhood, but also as a way to help bring neighbors together in both tilling the land and harvesting from it.

“We wanted a community project that was safe and healthy,” Derrick Solomon, executive director of the Hard Bargain Association, said of why the garden was started back in 2007. “We just wanted a way to relieve some pressure off low- to moderate-income families with some vegetables. 

“But also we wanted to continue the legacy of our forefathers. This is something they wanted the younger generation to learn from the older generation, how to grow a garden. I think it’s very important for the younger generation to learn this because it teaches discipline, responsibility, and just builds character.” – John McBryde