The Ahimsa House community garden.
On Sunday, Feb. 14, a local nonviolence center, the Ahimsa House, will host Big Love, its 2nd annual benefit concert and raffle. The concert features Unidos da Filadelfia, JOHNNY POPCORN, Hardwork Movement, Silverton, Red Cedar Strings, DJs BeeTee Beats and SarahCuda. Raffle prizes include private massage, yoga, and photography sessions, Sixers tickets, as well as gift certificates to local businesses, such as Honest Tom’s and Greensgrow West. All proceeds will go to paying back the loan for the Ahimsa House community garden.
Last year, we published an article on the struggles of the Ahimsa House to save their community garden. The garden began in 2011 after the center’s founder, Meg Ferrigno, purchased the Ahimsa House at 5007 Cedar Ave. with a wrongful arrest settlement from the city. She immediately went to work turning the vacant lot next door into a garden where members from the community could grow and harvest free vegetables. Ferrigno put the garden up for sheriff’s sale along with a deposit for first bid as caretaker of the lot, but the garden was bought out from under her.
Ferrigno saved the lot last year with the help of donations from the community and a personal loan. Forty thousand dollars on the loan still need to be paid back. This year, the garden became part of the PHS City Harvest program, which provided the mulch and materials to build raised beds. Anyone from the community can request a plot to grow on, and part of the garden also grows food for the West Philly chapter of Food not Bombs.
More information about the campaign to save the garden can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/ahimsagarden.
The show will be at the Rotunda on 40th and Walnut. Doors open at 6 p.m. with music starting at 6:30. Entry is on a sliding scale donation basis between $10-15. Baked goods, including vegan and gluten free options, will be available for purchase. For more information, check out the event’s Facebook page.
– Alyssa Songsiridej