CARVER PEACE GARDENS

  

The Carver Peace Gardens are located in the Carver Community Park, which is between Watauga and Unaka Avenues, near downtown Johnson City, TN. The address of the garden is 322 W. Watauga Ave.

 

These gardens were begun in 2006 with only 6 plots. Today there are 25 plots cared for by a wide variety of folks, from kids to retirees.  Some plots are cared for by groups of people, like the ETSU Quillen Medical Students, that donate their harvests to local food pantries and soup kitchens. In 2014, they grew about 70 large butternuts to donate to One Acre Cafe.  There's also a group of women going through rehab that are learning that they can learn valuable “life skills” in the garden that will help them and their families, all while having fun! We will be giving these women canning, nutrition and cooking classes along with their gardening lessons to help them learn what to do with all that fresh food! If you'd rather work in the kitchen than in the garden, here's your chance!

For the 2014 season our individual plot holders decided to work together on a plot specifically for donation to One Acre Cafe. This is a non- profit organization that is doing good work in our community by operating under a 'pay it forward' concept that offers a wonderful meal for a reasonable price to those that can afford it, while letting those that can't, have the opportunity to work for an hour to pay for their meal. If you haven't heard about One Acre Cafe, you can read all about
them here:
http://oneacrecafe.org/ or like their Facebook page here:
https://www.facebook.com/OneAcreCafe  We donated hundreds of pounds of fresh organically grown vegetables to their operation and they creatively used every bit of it in their daily menus.

 

Some of the gardeners also decided to have a communal corn plot, growing a great variety called "Kandy Korn".  We had a lot of fun, and learned a lot too!  We hope to grow a communal plot of sweet potatoes and peanuts in 2015 and will need help throughout the growing season with maintaining it.  If you have experience with growing either of those crops, please let me know.

 

The garden also received two small grants this year.  The first grant of $300 was used to purchase piping and hoses for extending our water supply to the other side of the garden, enabling small children and older gardeners to more easily be able to water their plots.  It really made a big difference in our workloads and our successes, having easy access to water.  The second grant was used to purchase a broad fork as well as fruit trees and berries.  These things were planted on our October 25th work day and will need a fair amount of attention during the 2015 growing season.  If you'd like to get hours, gain fruit-growing experience and perhaps take home some fresh fruit next summer, please let me know.  This on-going project could be done according to your personal time schedule rather than our scheduled work days.  Here's the row of trees, right after planting....

We also have two or three work days each growing season; in the spring, mid-summer, and again in the fall.  Those days are helping others that have fallen behind in their plot maintenance, rejuvenation of common areas, planting perennials, and more.  There's always more work than helpers and it's a good opportunity to earn your hours.

 

If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to call me before 8 PM at 423-833-1420 or email at: nancyshilling@gmail.com I hope to see some of you in the garden.

 

Nancy Shilling, Class of 2013