Best Charity - 2005
Chief Sitting Bull Organic Garden
Nobody's sure why, but Lake Worth has become the Haight-Ashbury of South Florida. It's a place where free-thinkers and hippie types have settled, run for office, and staged regular public protests. The center of this alternative universe in consumer-driven SoFla is Chief Sitting Bull Organic Garden. Taking up three lots behind a convenience store, the garden is run by a dozen regulars who have plotted out a spot for themselves and grow everything from bananas to radishes. This year's crop will be the best yet, says regular gardener and former Lake Worth mayoral candidate Panagioti Tsolkas. (The bumper crop comes thanks in part to a donation of horse manure that got things going, so to speak.) Aside from the veggies, the garden has served as the location for free movie showings and the occasional piñata contest for neighborhood kids. Without gates or get-out signs, the place works on the honor system. So far, it has survived five years with no greater losses than a few gardening tools and an occasional watermelon. Regular volunteers get their own corner of the garden, but lest you think otherwise, be warned: Plants of the five-bladed-leaf variety are prohibited.