Garden News

See also- listings in Calendar/Events and Committee News

Bees and Pollinator Garden

In 2016 we became beekeepers with the acquisition of two hives. They have been placed in an enclosure at the end of the asphalt path. Nearby is a new pollinator garden plot of flowers – all perennial, native plants. The Garden Coordinator and other members of the Operating Committee took beginning beekeeping classes from the Greater Cleveland Beekeepers Association, where the Garden is now a member. The initial bee and garden installations were funded by a grant to the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation. See more about the Old Brooklyn Pollinator & Habitat Project here.

Special thanks to our donor

Healthy Grow

We received a donation of 500 pounds of organic fertilizer which was distributed to each gardener. Thanks so much to Dave Thompson's Organic Healthy Grow®. You can find information about this product at

New Garden Tractor

The Garden purchased a tractor with a reverse turn tiller, front loader and mower attachment. This will allow the Garden Coordinator and volunteers to prepare for the spring tilling and focus on amending the soil for higher yields. A new compost bin is also being planned because a large garden needs a large compost pile. The tractor will be the most efficient way to ‘turn’ the pile. The tractor will allow for better use of resources. Much of the labor at the Garden has been done manually - The wood chips, for instance, have been carted by wheel barrel from one end of the Garden to the other to form paths. The front end loader will be able to distribute wood chips and soil amendments throughout the Garden, saving time and volunteers’ sneakers.

Greg Noeth test driving the tractor

Ben Franklin Community Garden T-shirts

In 2013 the Ben Franklin Garden introduced a new t-shirt design, the work of gardener Carol Schiro. T-shirts are sold at garden events – Kickoff Meeting, Ice Cream Social, etc. T-shirts can also be purchased by contacting members of the operating committee. Proceeds from the sales benefit the garden operating fund.

T-shirts are $14.00 each.
T-shirts feature a small graphic on the front and large graphic on the back. Women’s style shirts are dark green on straw yellow; men's shirts are dark green on white.

Wear your heart on your sleeve and your garden over your heart…


Colors – Straw yellow in women's and white in men's

Please Note – scarecrow not included!

T-shirt front design

T-shirt back design

"Recipes from the Garden" cookbook

Recipes from the GardenThe Ben Franklin Garden is proud to announce the publication of “Recipes from the Garden”. In the fall of 2012 the garden operating committee was approached by a gardener who wanted to produce a cookbook. The book would feature recipes that included fruits and vegetables, many of which are produced in Ben Franklin Garden. The committee thought it was a great idea and gave permission to begin the compilation of recipes. Gardeners were encouraged to submit their recipes and responded with recipes for appetizers, soups & salads, vegetables & sides, casseroles & main dishes, desserts and canning. In the end, over 100 recipes were collected. The recipes were reproduced and presented in a very attractive, colorful, spiral bound booklet.

The cookbook is available for just $10. The cookbook will be sold at garden events throughout the year. It may also be purchased at the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation office (2339 Broadview Road).

The garden would like to thank the following businesses for providing monetary support to offset the price of printing: Honey Hut Ice Cream, M&W Meats and the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation.

Volunteer Teams

To help defray the cost of operating the garden, gardeners and co-gardeners are asked to volunteer at least five hours during the growing season. To help make it easier for gardeners to fulfill their obligation we are introducing “Work Crews”. More than a dozen different crews have been identified for work from garden setup in May thru garden closing in October. The crews span a wide range of talents and abilities, hopefully something for everyone. Gardeners will be asked to identify four crews they would like to join. Gardeners will be notified of their assignment at the start of the season.  The crews will be overseen by the Garden Co-ordinator. With this new plan we hope we can take advantage of the talented, enthusiastic volunteer force we have at our disposal.

Garden Set-up Crew (Involves one or two days in early May, includes staking plots, requires week-day availability)
Social/Fundraising Events Crew (Setup, cleanup, food preparation for all events, assists with Garden entry for County Fair)
Grounds Crew (Works weekly throughout the season to maintain the grounds, includes trash pickup and mowing)
Beautification Crew (Maintains fruit trees and berry patches, plants and maintains flower displays)
Hunger Center Crew (Plants and maintains any vacant plots for donation of harvest to hunger centers)
Hunger Center Delivery Crew (Weighs and delivers donated produce)
Tree & Brush Removal Crew
Weekend Opening/Closing Crew
Building Maintenance Crew (Cleans washrooms, shed and container throughout the season, plus season start-up and ending tasks)
Garden Plot Management Crew (Identifies troubled plots weekly, helps gardeners needing assistance)
Composting Crew (Maintains compost area throughout the season)
Equipment Crew (Assists Projects Sub-committee with equipment/tool repair, maintenance and inventory)
Garden Closing Crew (Involves one or two days in October to prepare Garden for plowing – requires weekday availability)