Things have been kind of quiet since we last checked in on the garden across from Pat’s King of Steaks, where we told you Rachael Ray and her TV show’s crew built a community garden. As you may recall, the last word was that before leaving town, Rach and her crew turned over the keys to the garden, much to many of the neighbor’s dismay, to the Camden City Garden Club. We’ve since learned that the club, which operates 100-plus gardens across the river, signed a lease with Maria Olivieri, daughter of cheesesteak co-creator Harry Olivieri (Pat’s brother) who owns the lot, for two years. And it’s reached out to the local neighborhood civic association to oversee the green oasis and enlist and coordinate volunteers from the community to maintain it. “It wasn’t planned out as well as it could have been,” Andrew Emma, Passyunk Square Civic Association’s Beautification Chair told Grub Street. “But we’re now leading the volunteer charge and [the garden] is open to anyone in the neighborhood who wants to come out and help.”
While many of the specifics remain up in the air, Emma said he hopes the space will be kept as a community garden, where volunteers will split the bounty amongst themselves and others in the community who are in need. Right now there are plants that need tending and produce that needs to be picked. On Wednesday and Thursday nights from 5 to 6 p.m. Emma and volunteers will be on hand at the garden to sign up anyone who is interested in lending a hand.