Volunteers prep Community Garden for fall planting
BY DEBBIE PAGE
Friends of the Library and other volunteers gathered at the J. Hoyt Hayes Memorial Troutman Library on Saturday morning for a community garden clean-up session to pull weeds and prepare the soil for fall crops.
Steve Rimmer explained the the garden was the brainchild of a previous employee, who got the materials to build raised gardens donated from a variety of area businesses and community members. The Friends of the Library inherited the project without a support group established, said Rimmer.
“People show up at harvest time but not at weed time,” Rimmer joked. The theory of a community garden is that folks will help plant, maintain, and enjoy the harvest from it through the growing seasons.
The garden currently has watermelons, tomatoes, and herbs near ready for harvest, along with an array of flowers for arrangements. Community members are welcome to enjoy the harvest but are also asked to pull some weeds or other tasks while there.
Valerie Mills and her mother Ann arrived armed for battle with an array of tools. The pair had actually started clean-up on several beds in the past few weeks. Storyteller and Library Friend Miss Maxine also said she was ready to join in the fun ... as long as nothing slithered out at her!
Valerie, who loves to grow vegetables and herbs in her home raised beds, became interested in the garden earlier this year during a walk by the library. “The garden was looking pretty bad so I just came in and asked who was supposed to be taking care of it. She said it was supposed to be a community garden, which I was unaware of.”
“I pleaded with them to let me try it for at least a year to give it more attention and to get more participation. I just think gardens are nice!”
Valerie also offered to get the garden going next spring and take any unclaimed crops to the Troutman Farmers Market to sell and put the profits back into the library programs.
Valerie and her mom immediately started cleaning up the garden as community volunteers, even before she heard back from the Friends on her request. ‘That’s why we don’t have that much to do today,” she said, pointing to just three raised beds and the watermelon patch area left to weed.
If you would like to help with the garden, join Friends of the Library activities, or more information on library programs, contact the Troutman library at (704) 528-2682, go to the website at http://iredell.lib.nc.us/194/
Troutman Friends of the Library has been a registered tax-exempt organization since its founding in 2004. Donations to the garden or the library are welcome.