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Garden Tour Countdown: When Harry Met Rachael

[caption id="attachment_4088" align="alignright" width="224"] Photo | Kirk Thiel[/caption] Harry O's Passyunk Gardens is sure to be a hot spot on September 8's Second Annual South Philly Food Co-op Garden Tour -- it's gorgeously lush, eye-catching, and a much-needed slice of greenery amid the Cheesesteak Vegas that is the corner of Wharton and Passyunk. Plus, there's the Rachael Ray factor -- the Queen of EVOO herself is the one responsible for bringing this urban garden to South Philly. Designed by landscape architect Dean Hill and built by the Rachael Ray Show in August 2011 as the backdrop for the taping of the "Great Philly Grill-Off," Harry O's Passyunk Gardens became, in a matter of mere days, a fully functioning raised-bed garden containing 16 raised beds, a vertical flowerbed, 2,869-gallon rainwater cisterns and an iron fence, according to Peter Crimmins' Aug. 30, 2011, report on WHYY/Newsworks. After taping, the show's producers left the garden to be maintained by the Camden Children's Garden and Passyunk Square Civic Association. The garden operates as a collective, with everyone sharing the planting duties and the harvest; all food is donated to neighbors who come by on Sundays, with any surplus going to local food pantries. See this and other neighborhood gardens on the Second Annual South Philly Food Co-op Garden Tour, on Sat., Sept. 8, 2012 (raindate Sun., Sept. 9, 2012) from 1-5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at or at these locations: Urban Jungle, 1526 E. Passyunk Avenue Ultimo Coffee, 1900 South 15th St., Grindcore House, 1515 S. 4th St. The Garden Tour will be a self-guided ticketed event, and will feature over 20 public and private gardens throughout South Philadelphia. Participating gardens will have their doors/gates open for the duration of the event, and will have someone available to greet visitors, show them around and answer questions. This is one of many fundraisers that will help us raise the funds for a site analysis of potential store locations. Help us make it a success - buy tickets for yourself, your friends and your family! And, if you haven't yet joined, meet some of our member-owners and please consider joining now!