Community Garden

Community Garden Sets The Pace

The East Ocean View Community Garden has set a new standard of excellence for community gardens. Working with Bon Secours Health System, Operation Blessing International, Home Depot, the City of Norfolk, and the Master Gardeners of Norfolk, an empty lot has been transformed into a beautiful and productive community garden.

Volunteering at the Community Garden

Interested in volunteering at the garden?  Visit the Community Garden Facebook Page or contact Louise and Robert Owens at 757-390-6316, 757-375-0607, or

Introducing Hydroponics

“What’s exciting about this community garden,” says Jody Herrington-Gettys, Operation Blessing’s Director of U.S. Disaster Relief, “is not only how it is helping to transform this community—what we are doing here has national and international implications. We have introduced a hydroponics system that we hope to duplicate in sites around the country, and even in disaster sites around the world.”

Hydroponic gardens grow plants in nutrient enriched water instead of in soil. The result is plants that grow faster, live longer, and produce more fruit. Hydroponic gardens can be built inside or outside making them flexible for use in all climates.

The garden on the corner of 18th Bay Street and Pleasant Avenue in the East Ocean View district of Norfolk even uses solar energy to operate the small pumps required to circulate the water through the hydroponics system.

Square Foot Gardening

In addition to the hydroponics system, 15 square foot gardens have been developed and adopted by residents of the community. Square Foot Gardening was developed by Mel Bartholomew in 1976. It provides a simple, fun way to grow all the vegetables (or flowers) you need in a small, easily maintained area. You never have to till the soil, or wonder where each plant should go, because your garden is divided into ‘square feet’ that are easy to plant and maintain.

The typical Square Foot Garden is built in a 4-foot by 4-foot box that can sit on the ground or can be raised up like those at the East Ocean View Community Garden. Just fill the box with a mixture of peat moss, compost, & vermiculite (or your own favorite growing soil) and then use string, or strips of wood, to divide the garden box into sixteen 1-square-foot areas. Now you’re ready to plant your own Square Foot Garden. Square Foot Gardening is so simple that we hope you will try it in your own back yard. For more information on Square Foot Gardening consider reading Mel Bartholomew’s book, “All New Square Foot Gardening.” It’s available at most local book stores.

Pizza Garden

Gardening’s not just for adults. Kids love to plant seeds and see them grow. The East Ocean View Community Garden “Pizza Garden” is designed in the shape of a pizza to teach children that even what they eat on their pizza comes from the garden. Basil, oregano, tomatoes, peppers, and more, are all grown right here by the children of the East Ocean View Community.

How about a homemade pizza tonight?!

See For Yourself
Why not take a trip out to Garden!  Be inspired, It’s worth the trip.