Early August is traditionally the celebration of the First Harvest. And in the Swannanoa Community Garden there has been much to harvest this August — and more to look forward to in the harvests to come.
As expected, there have been squash, peppers, beans, corn, and at last, tomatoes. There are pumpkins and melons and greens waiting. And then there is the usual seasonal bumper crop of weeds. But the tallest and most dramatic thing rising up in the garden has been the new garden shed that’s taken shape there. Thanks to our landlord Bill Alexander, some of our gardeners, and donations from members of our valley community, materials were gathered together. After just a few days’ work, the new shed is complete!
Many thanks to the community members and student volunteers from Warren Wilson College who came out to work in the garden on Friday, August 19. The new shed was painted and primed, garden paths and common areas were cleared of weeds, fresh mulch was applied to the back pathways, our donated tomato plants were carefully tended, and compost and brushpile areas were constructed using materials from the old makeshift shed. The hardworking volunteers accomplished much more than expected in just a few short hours!
Come on out to 105 Lanier Lane (in the Grovemont neighborhood) to see the newly-beautified garden. Better still, contact our Garden Manager, Sandy Drake, about renting your own plot for autumn gardening. Late summer is the perfect time to plant cool season vegetables like lettuce, kale, collards, broccoli and cauliflower, just to name a few. For a nominal fee to help cover expenses, you can soon be harvesting delicious fresh vegetables. Call Sandy at 318-5685 or send her an email for more info.The Swannanoa Community Garden is sponsored by Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa (FANS).
The Swannanoa Community Garden in the Grovemont neighborhood is in full swing, with Swannanoa residents busy hoeing, weeding, and harvesting vegetables in their rental plots. It’s been an interesting season, so warm and wet that many things have been coming in ahead of schedule. Some of our gardeners are reporting that that’s also true for the weeds, which are indeed reaching July proportions in size and quantity!
Despite the weeds, our gardeners are producing some beautiful results. Pepper plants, corn, and leaf veggies are lush. There is already squash and zucchini fruiting. The most beautiful home grown head lettuce you’ve ever seen is right here in our community garden! Onion bulbs are maturing– and their flowering tops are attracting the attention of beneficial fireflies, butterflies, and ladybugs. We’re all anticipating bountiful harvests, and yes, a bumper crop of weeds along with them. What a great workout! The price of a garden plot gets you produce AND a fitness membership!
In the very near future, we’re expecting to receive tomatoes donated from Painter’s Greenhouses which will fill to overflowing our last two empty plots. Once harvested, the tomatoes will be donated to the Welcome Table and local food banks. Help is needed to weed and plow the two plots so that the tomatoes can be planted. Please contact the Garden Co-Manager (see below) if you can help with this project.
Coming up in August, our garden partners will include students from Warren Wilson College volunteering on their community service day. Our gardeners and other volunteers are welcome to join the fun.
The greatly anticipated shed donation fell through, but there’s a plan B in the works to assemble a shed on site from donated and salvaged materials. If you can help with labor or materials for the shed, please contact the Garden Co-Manager. And please visit the “Swannanoa Community Garden” on Facebook to see photos and read more about our progress.
The community garden is sponsored by the Swannanoa Pride Community Coalition. For information about plot rentals and volunteer opportunities, please contact Sandy Drake, Garden Co-Manager, at 318-5685 or email@example.com. If you’d like to stop by and see the garden, it’s located on Lanier Lane in Grovemont. Take Grovemont Ave. (towards the Swannanoa Library), bear right on Alexander Avenue, and take the 3rd right onto Lanier Lane. The garden will be on your left.
The Swannanoa Community Garden on Lanier Lane in the Grovemont neighborhood has been plowed for the new growing season. Plot markers are back in place. The water is running again after repairs to damage that occurred over the winter. Gardeners have begun planting and even harvesting early season crops.The Garden was established by volunteers on a site dedicated to this purpose by a local private property owner. Community members can sign up for plots where they can grow food, herbs, and flowers for their own use, for donation, for sharing with friends and family, or to sell. Gardeners are young and old, experienced and novice, longtime locals and newcomers to our wonderful area. What they have in common is the enjoyment of fresh air, the outdoors, a little work, and a lot of tasty food!
Individuals, families, and groups may rent a plot (or more than just one), or may share a single plot and tend it cooperatively. The garden management doesn’t want expense to be a barrier to participation. Donated seeds and materials, shared tools and plots, and scholarships for plot rental are all available to help gardeners become involved. Also, don’t be intimidated by lack of experience. Other participants at the garden, county extension agents, and master gardeners can provide assistance and expertise.
Rental rates are from $18-25 for the season, depending on size and location within the garden, including water. All plots rent on a first-come first-served basis. Ideal planting time is approaching, so if you’re thinking of gardening with us this year, please contact Bill Alexander at 669-1169 or Ian Jensen at 581-4064.
Even if you missed the summer planting season, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy home-grown vegetables this season. In fact, August is a great time to plant some of your favorite “cool season” veggies, including lettuce, broccoli, kale, cabbage, collards, spinach, and cauliflower. These vegetables thrive in the cooler fall temperatures.
Growing a fall garden is easy, and can be a lot more pleasant than gardening during the dog days of summer (especially when the summer is as hot as this one has been!).
Swannanaoa Pride Community Coalition’s new Community Garden is the perfect place to put your seeds and plants in the ground. The garden is located on very fertile land, which has generously been made available for a community garden by a local landowner in the Grovemont neighborhood. Garden plots of various sizes are available to the public for a nominal fee to help cover expenses (if cost is a factor, please inquire about possible scholarships).
Local residents and church groups have been gardening all summer, and the rich soil has already produced bumper crops of tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, peppers, and much more. Water is provided on site — all you need to bring are some seeds and plants and a tool for digging.
Buncombe County Extension Master Gardeners are assisting with the Community Garden and are available to offer advice to novice and experienced gardeners alike. Participating in a Community Garden is a great way to meet neighbors, learn more about gardening (or share your expertise!), and put delicious, fresh food on your table. For more information, contact Donna Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 299-4888.
Master Gardeners give planting tips to kids from Swannanoa First Baptist Church at the Swannanoa Community Garden.