Gardening Crusaders Honored


Gardeners Supply Company recently announced their 2008 Crusader Awards honoring people who’ve improved the world through gardening, and what a crop of awesome people!  There are five winners in each category, and here’s a little bit about the top winners.

Grand Prize:  Ed Bush (left) is an LSU professor who also teaches 3-12th graders in an environmental stewardship program called Coastal Roots.  Their top job is restoring Louisiana’s wetlands.

Education: Gail Pianalto (right) is a community garden organizer in Arkansas.

Feeding the Hungary: 
 Shirley Edwards of Rochester, NY (lower right) led the charge to create a grocery store and urban farm, both run by the community.
Urban Renewal: Guillermo Vasquez (left) leads San Francisco’s Indigenous Permaculture Project.Crusadershirley

Charlotte Valbert of Tacoma, WA, (lower left) led the drive to convert an abandoned farm into a berry-picking park.  (Notice that she’s doing this at 80 years of age, so a great role model for aging while gardening.)

There were nearly 600 nominees this year, and prize money awards totaled over $15,00Crusadercharlotte0.

Nominations for 2009 awards open in February (watch this space for an announcement) and may include new categories for individual gardens and for people in government who are making things happen.  (Yeah, let’s reward ’em!)


  1. Congratulations to the winners. They represent the soul of gardening and civic duty.

    (BTW my post about being pro-lawn is back up after repairing some typos etc).

    Go ahead and let me have it!!!!

    The (hunkered down in my bunker) TROLL

  2. How great! It’s really interesting that a lot of civic-minded people are now choosing gardening as their means of improving their communities.

  3. Thanks for this terrific exposure for our Garden Crusader Awards and the extra kudos for all of the wonderful winners. We’re an employee-owned company and each year it takes about 20 of us to read through the hundreds of nomination forms and narrow the list. It’s so inspiring to learn about each of these gardeners, and the positive effects they are having in their communities. Go gardeners!

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