Cooking Up Good Times at the Good Food Garden Party

Marge Pitts volunteered for Community Groundworks long before it was Community Groundworks. A founder of what was then Friends of Troy Gardens, she continues with the organization because she believes in the idea of local food for local people now more than ever.

In working to make neighborhoods a better place, Pitts and the rest of Community Groundworks create a model for land use, participatory democracy and creative expression that can be replicated anywhere.  “By our example, we give people hope that all is not lost.”

With unwavering determination, Pitts plays whatever role is needed to spread the mission of Community Groundworks. A board member since the beginning, she organizes events from planning and publicity to creating graphic and written materials. Pitts also gives media interviews, conducts writing workshops and takes care of Troy Gardens’ chickens (when the Troy Kids’ Garden Program is not in session) every day October through June, as well as every weekend.

Pitts’ favorite part of the organization is that “it’s a community open to anyone and reliant on everyone.” It is this detail that Pitts has spread through to others in her life. 

Pitts’ colleague at the Tornado Club, general manager Bob Hemauer, became involved in the organization, and helps provide the delicious food available at the annual Good Food Garden Party, where local chefs cook dinner al fresco with fresh, seasonal ingredients from Troy Community Farm. Proud to support Community Groundworks, Hemauer says to even be a small part of it all is an absolute privilege. “Urban agriculture is a vitally important part of the local food movement, and I’m awestruck by the amazing gardens and farms that Community Ground Works facilitates. Troy Gardens would be a welcome addition to any neighborhood, but the fact that it exists in an area with limited access to fresh local produce speaks volumes about the organization’s foresight and dedication.”

Considering what she calls her avocation at Community Groundworks of more value to the world than her vocation, Pitts encourages everyone to get involved by finding where they fit in the organization. “Give us your gift, and we will give you ours.”

Join Pitts at this year’s Good Food Garden Party on September 8. Tickets are available at