Okra plants 14 feet tall, bushels and bushels of cucumbers, pepper plants that just won’t quit, and beautiful flowers in every color of the rainbow are just some of the amazing outcomes of hard work and TLC at the Swannanoa Community Garden this year.
Much of the credit for this year’s garden success goes to the approximately 150 volunteers who rolled up their sleeves and dug right in to the daunting list of garden chores. Groups that helped grow the garden this year include FUGE (a summer service camp at Ridgecrest), Owen High School, Warren Wilson College, and several area churches. These groups joined a handful of faithful individual volunteers, who together contributed more than 100 hours of hard labor. The endless chores of weeding, mulching, harvesting, mowing and weed whacking could not have been accomplished without these dedicated volunteers.
The Swannanoa Community Garden is a “Garden That Gives.” Produce grown in the garden is donated to Bounty and Soul, a local nonprofit in Black Mountain that distributes the food through their weekly open markets in the Valley. At the peak of the growing season, the Swannanoa Community Garden was dropping off about 100 pounds of fresh, healthy produce each week, all of which is provided to our neighbors in need through the Bounty and Soul distribution network.
But the beauty of Swannanoa’s “giving garden” does not lie only in helping to provide food for the kitchen, but also in offering colorful and superbly arranged flower bouquets to those who might need a little food for the soul. These beautiful arrangements, lovingly prepared by garden volunteer Kara Dillow, are donated to the nonprofit Flower Power to brighten the lives of people in hospitals, nursing homes, and other locations.
The Swannanoa Community Garden is sponsored by Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa (FANS), and is located on Clover Lane, off Lake Eden Road. Volunteers and donations are always needed. If you’d like to help with the fall harvest, or with putting the garden to bed for the winter, please contact Sandy Drake at sandyjean51@gmail or call 828-318-5685.