Taking a Cue from Re-use Brilliance in the Gardens of Cleveland’s AsiaTown

Since the 1860’s, immigrants from China, Vietnam and Korea have made their homes in Midtown Cleveland, blessing our region with, among other things, blocks upon blocks of impressively bountiful kitchen gardens. If you have passed this way in late summer, you may have seen the huge bitter melons and yardlong beans hanging from home-made trellises. Upon closer look, most of these gardens include reused and repurposed items, and unparalleled creative adaptations of what would otherwise be garbage. I took a walk through to document some of these before they are overgrown by vegetables.


With an abundance of garbage to go round, perhaps the rest of Cleveland should open our gardens to more re-use. Soccer goal trellises, fireplace screen fences, and kiddy pool beds await you, as do Tilth soils, bringing the original upcycling process to you with love through compost <3. 

P.S. It is often difficult to communicate with the people working these gardens, due to the language barrier. I am usually able to communicate garden admiration through gestures, but I have so many questions! Especially about composting. If you, or someone you know has a connection to any gardeners of Asiatown, and especially information about the composting practices, please reach out. 

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