Photo by Joe McGarity
The community garden movement continues to grow and thrive in the Northstate. Shirley Straub, a volunteer, told the Fantom Penguin about one such garden.
“This wonderful garden is from Anderson Community. We’re a church. Our pastor is Les Baugh and this was his idea. Mercy Medical sponsored us for the first two years. We’ve had this for two years. And now next year we’re on our own. So, we have to raise our own money. So, on October 1st, this is just a week or so away we’re going to have an Artisan and Harvest Faire.”
“We’ll have lots of vendors and fun and games for kids.”
“The festival is October 1st; that’s a Saturday, from 10:00 - 4:00.”
“We’re going to have lots of vendors selling everything from Avon, Pampered Chef, metal art, t-shirts, jewelry, and we’re hoping to have some produce vendors as well, but people will be allowed to come into the garden if they need to and pick what they need.”
“We hope it raises money to plant our garden next year.”
Chester Dodge, another garden volunteer, told the Fantom Penguin that much of the garden’s produce goes to the Anderson Cottonwood Christian Assistance food program which has an office on East Center Street in Anderson.
“I take it over to ACCA twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays and we bag it up and give it to needy people. And stuff that’s too big we put on a table out front that people are more than welcome to bag up their own and take as much as they want off that table.”
Shirley: “There’s so many hungry people out there and needy people. With the prices and the economy the way it is now people can’t afford to go to the grocery store and these fill the bill for them.”
Chester: “Some people that can’t afford maybe to buy fresh cucumbers can come here and pick as many as they want and it’s no charge. “
Shirley: “And tomatoes and squash. What else? What are those things, the purple things?”
Shirley: “Eggplant, yes! Lots of eggplant, okra and different kinds of squash.”
Chester: “We’ve got, like, five kinds of tomatoes grown in this garden.”
Shirley: “And watermelon.”
Chester: “And watermelon should be ready by the harvest festival.”
Shirley: “And that Hubbard Squash, it’s this big around, no kidding! It’s huge!”
The Fantom Penguin asked if one has to work in the garden in order to receive food.
“Oh, they don’t need to do anything, but we appreciate the help. But if they just want to come here and pick themselves some produce, it would be wonderful.”
“So many of these little tomatoes . . . Look at these guys. We’ll have bucket loads of them and the little yellow ones. Lots of tomatoes, so they’re rotting on the vine. We do need people to take them.”
So all you have to do is ask?
“And if nobody is here, they can come in as long as they’re gentle with the plants and help themselves.”