Rachael Ray might’ve charmed Midtown Village yesterday with a stop at Barbuzzo, but back in South Philly, where volunteers from the community worked with her show’s crews to transform the long-vacant lot across from Pat’s King of Steaks into a breathtaking garden over the past week or so, folks are feeling a little slighted. Seems after all was said and done, Rach turned over the keys to the green oasis to the Camden City Garden Club. It’s a noble group that promotes healthy eating and teaches kids how to grown their own produce in vacant lots, but it’s based in Camden, NJ. “We’re grateful to see Rachael Ray and other partners clean up a long-standing neighborhood eyesore,” Passyunk Square Civic Association president, Christine Knapp told Grub Street. “However, we are disappointed that the organizers did not reach out the Passyunk Square Civic Association, which has a long tradition of beautification, including running a community garden a block away.”
When the show’s producers began enlisting volunteers to build the garden, it was with the understanding that after the show wrapped, it would become a community garden and that those helped construct it would get first dibs on its plots. Now with the Camden City Garden Club overseeing the spot, it’s unclear who will be allowed to garden there.
“We hope that the Camden City Garden Club will work with us to make sure community residents will be engaged and the garden is maintained,” Knapp said.
Rachael Ray brings show–and a garden–to South Philly [Newsworks]