Dewey’s Sunshine Garden: A Volunteer Event with Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Dewey’s Sunshine Garden was a community garden and greenhouse initially maintained by Dewey, a man who lived in the New Life Manor Senior Homes. He grew and shared his produce with the community, working in his garden until he passed at the age of 101 years old. Since his passing, the garden has been abandoned.

Growing Places Indy and John Boner Neighborhood Centers partnered with Tito’s Handmade Vodka to restore the garden and continue Dewey’s legacy. In addition, we want to provide an oasis for the community’s residents, specifically those who live in the senior home.

On June 8th, the GPI team was joined by a team from Tito’s Handmade Vodka and a handful of other volunteers to work on bringing life back to this garden. We started by cleaning out and taking down the abandoned greenhouse. Next, one team worked to clean and weed the garden beds and surrounding area, while another worked to replace the fence line.

After all of our volunteers’ hard work, we were able to add fresh compost and soil to two raised garden beds. Finally, we concluded our day with Tito’s Handmade Vodka by planting vegetables in the raised beds. One is full of different cooking greens, and the other has various tomatoes, peppers, herbs, flowers, etc.

Thank you to Tito’s Handmade Vodka, John Boner Neighborhood Centers, and all of our volunteers for your hard work on June 8th. However, this project is not quite finished yet.

The next phase of this project includes landscaping and installing a wheelchair-accessible walkway through the middle of the garden. Next, we plan to install a patio area with ADA-accessible picnic tables in the space where the greenhouse stood. Then, we will finish off the space by replacing the remainder of the fence line. And finally, we will revive Dewey’s hand-painted sign to continue his legacy.

We are excited to bring life back to this space and provide the senior home with an outdoor oasis. This garden will be a relaxing gathering space, and there will be fresh, local produce just across the street from New Life Manor Senior Homes.

Thanks again to Tito’s Handmade Vodka and John Boner Neighborhood Centers for your support and all our volunteers for your hard work! We appreciate your help on our initiative to give back to the community and provide access to fresh, local foods.


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