Carver Food Park Community Garden, at the corner of Gale and Lealand in the 12South Neighborhood, was certainly a raised bed of controversy. But is this any way to resolve it?
I don’t know all the whys and wherefores behind today’s destruction of Carver Food Park Community Garden.
The disagreement, apparently, roots deeper than topsoil: some neighbors call the place an eyesore, and a trash dump; Carver volunteers say one man’s trash is another man’s compost; and TDOT workers who’ve waded into a nest of angry local food advocates and TV cameras are just bewildered. “They told us we were coming to move some homeless people,” said one worker, shaking his head.
What everyone seems to agree on is that the park’s founders had the best of intentions: to create a public garden that would grow food, beautify the neighborhood, and produce rich compost from the surrounding neighbors’ leaf litter. Whether Carver and its founder and volunteers succeeded in that intention of late seems to be the main point of disagreement.
The point is: is bulldozing the park the best way to bring opposing sides together? Local food advocate Cassi Johnson sighs ruefully. “This could have been resolved,” she says, watching the backhoes at work.
It certainly won’t be resolved now.