The Ahimsa House Community Garden found its roots when Margaret Ferrigno purchased 5007 Cedar Avenue in 2011 with $15,000 that the City of Philadelphia granted her after she was wrongfully arrest by the Philadelphia Police Department.
After a long search for a large space with a neighboring vacant lot in Cedar Park, she bought 5007 Cedar in order to open a center for nonviolence. Her vision was to use the vacant 5005 property as a community garden. The neighbors told Margaret that she would be responsible for the upkeep of 5005 ,and she quickly turned the vacant land into a garden. The garden feeds many neighbors, runs educational programs for at-risk youth, herbalism workshops, and provides a green space for people to take time out and connect with mother earth.
Margaret and the community have invested thousands of dollars into improving the soil, planting perennials and annual crops, and offered thousands of hours of sweat equity.
5007 and 5005 Cedar Avenue, now known as Ahimsa House , have been serving to share practices of peace since 2012. The garden is a big part of its mission, and it benefits many people by providing human-nature connection and fresh, organic food!
In 2012, Margaret followed Councilwoman Blackwell's advice to enter the lot into sheriff's sale. She put a downpayment of $800 on the property, and was given first bid as the adjacent homeowner and caretaker of the property. Unfortunately, a developer then bought the property out from under her during the sheriff's sale and wouldn't consider Margaret's offers to purchase the property. He then sold the property at $62,000.
After recognizing the importance of the garden to the community and a week long Change.org campaign, the developer sold the property to Margaret for $80,000 (+$3,000 in closing fees) On MARCH 18th, 2016.
This property is worth more than money. This property is a piece of community development, the type of development that MLK, Gandhi and other nonviolent revolutionaries encouraged.
Please honor our work, the earth and the struggle to rise above economic violence. Save the Ahimsa House garden!
WE HAVE RAISED OVER $42,000 IN 3 YEARS! PLEASE HELP US PAY OFF THE REMAINING BALANCE ON THIS LOAN!
IF 800 people donate $40 WE WOULD BE FINISHED FUNDRAISING! AND WE CAN ENSURE THAT THE GARDEN WILL BE GREENSPACE OR GENERATIONS TO COME! $5-10 DONATIONS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE TO US.
Please don't stop at money, either! This is a community garden, and we love others to come support the garden, work the land, share seeds, wisdom, and stories. COME ENJOY THE SPACE WITH US.