Another community garden success story. — Douglas
Two short years ago, the backyard of Waynesville’s Grace Church in the Mountains was basically just grass, save for a single container bed at the top of the hill.
These days, the view is quite different. Six long container beds stretch out along the slope from the road to the church’s back door. A scaffolding that held a tent of beans during the warmer months stands to the side, and at the bottom of the hill is yet another group of raised beds, built high at the end of a flat walkway so that people with mobility issues can still access and enjoy them. There’s a toolshed, a gaggle of scarecrows and two in-ground beds dug directly into the land.
It’s the home of the Grace Giving Garden.
“We decided, ‘We have this land. It’s just growing grass. Why do we have to grow grass?’” said Emily Chatfield-Lusto, who co-facilitates the garden along with fellow Master Gardeners Jim Geenan and Mary Alice Lodico.
So, they got to work — making plans, making beds, making connections. All the produce grown there, they decided, would help feed the more than 200 families that use the church’s food pantry. But now, the produce goes to more homes than just 200.
“It just sort of took off,” Chatfield-Lusto said. “This year we decided, ‘Why don’t we reach out to different community organizations and see if they want to come garden with us?’”