Mapleleaf Gardens is one of the few remaining agricultural spaces within the City limits, and has long been a site of food production. The site is nestled between the Pumpkinvine Trail and Lincoln Way northeast of downtown and contains woodland and wetlands around a creek feeding the Elkhart River. Dutch farmers used to cultivating such "muck" land installed waterways to control the moisture and enhance their production of cabbages, celery, carrots, and other root vegetables.
The site was eventually managed by Beth Neff, who ran one of the areas first CSA projects and helped make local produce available through te Maple City Market. Beth also built a straw bale greenhouse on the site with a SARE grant, one of the few naturally built structures in the area that we're aware of. The site is currently owned and managed by Kim and Eric Kurtz, who hope to continue using the rich soil to produce local food and provide land access for other members of the community to garden as well.
Besides growing abundant produce, they are supporting efforts to raise bees, chickens, and hopefully a crop of mushrooms in the spring. Transition Goshen had the opportunity to visit and tour Mapleleaf Gardens in November, 2012.