An Urban Garden Sprouts in Hamilton

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Courtesy of Bmore Media – “Want some raspberry bushes?”

Arthur grins at me. Who could refuse?  First order of business: wrangle nine raspberry vines out of Arthur’s blue pickup and transfer them to my back seat.

“What kind of soil do they need?” I ask.

“I dunno,” he chuckles. “I could make something up if you want.”

In a soft grey Lantern Parade T-shirt, faded jeans and flip-flops, Arthur Gray Morgan prefers to “follow the flow.”  That’s not to say that he doesn’t have vision or energy. In the past few years, Arthur’s passion, the Hamilton Crop Circle, has become a symbol of the area’s sustainable sensibilities. In 2010, Hamilton claimed three spots on City Paper’s New Restaurants of the Aughts, two of which get their produce from Hamilton Crop Circle.

Today, Hamilton Crop Circle has gardens all over Hamilton—on rooftops, in vacant lots, and at schools—City Neighbors Charter and Hamilton Elementary Middle, where students and teachers learn how to grow the food they eat. It sells its greens at farmers’ markets—both Sunday’s downtown market and Hamilton’s more modest one on Tuesdays. It supplies local restaurants, including Hamilton Tavern, Clementine, Four Seasons Baltimore, Woodberry Kitchen, the Wine Market, Brewer’s Art, Chameleon Cafe and the new Cajun pizza and po’ boy joint Tooloulou, located just a block from one of it’s garden.

Hamilton Crop Circle, certainly one of the best reasons to live in Hamilton these days, started from seed “three or four years ago,” Arthur explains, leaning in over his salvaged picnic table as the birds’ cacophony envelops us. He grins like a garden gnome. Originally, it was “a bunch of us [who] didn’t have a vision. We were just hanging out.”

They began by digging in their backyard, growing whatever they could. This group of neighbors who intended simply to feed themselves and families eventually produced enough food to sell to Hamilton Tavern and Clementine.

Read more at Bmore Media

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