- By Don Dwiggins
- Posted Thursday, June 7, 2012
A Community Garden Grows in Walkertown
Visit the Walkertown Branch and you'll find more than books, DVD's, computers and other great library materials. You'll also find a community garden. Stated by Kim Dobesh and other local residents the garden offers many opportunities to Walkertown residents not only to grow healthy, fresh vegetables but also to donate a portion of the harvest to local food banks and also to build community spirit.
To get the full flavor of the project we invite you to read a brief questions and answer interview with Ms. Dobesh below.
Q. Who started the garden?
A. A group of people from Walkertown who share an interest in community gardening
Q. Why was it started?
A. We were looking for more affordable, local, and healthier options for feeding ourselves and our families. We wanted to forge stronger relations within our community, breaking racial, economical, and generational boundaries. Gardening is an excellent form of exercise and stress relief.
Q. Who provides the labor for the gardens?
A. There are fifteen families involved this year and twelve 4 x 8 raised garden beds. Some families chose to share a garden bed. Each family provides the labor for their garden space. For some, it is a family affair; while others tackle the chores individually. As a group, we are happy to step up and help each other as needed. We may water our neighbor’s garden one day and they return the favor the next day and will assist when a fellow gardener is sick or on vacation.
The initial set-up labor was a group effort. We built the garden beds, with the help of Wallace Williamson from Reap More Than You Sow. A few weeks later, the group had a work day to place the garden beds, lay down landscaping fabric, and fill the garden beds with soil (by seemingly endless trip back and forth with a wheelbarrow).
The local business community helped make our community garden a reality! Thank you, Lowes Home Improvement (Kernersville) for donating and cutting all the lumber for 12 raised beds! Thanks to Webster Brothers Hardware (Walkertown) and Farmers Feed and Seed Store (Kernersville) for providing the gardening supplies. Thanks to Wallace Williamson for all his dedication, instruction, and hard work to teach us about square foot gardening.
Q. What type of vegetables are being grown?
A. Squash, zucchini, cucumbers, okra, pole beans, bush beans, a variety of peppers and tomatoes, onions, herbs, watermelon, cantaloupe, carrots, and flowers.
Q. Where does the food go to when harvested?
A. The bulk of the food harvested will go to the family(s) tending to each garden bed. We will donate at least 25% of the harvest to a local food bank (according to each family’s discretion). In August, the group plans on having a potluck meal using foods we have grown.
Q. How did it end up being located on library property?
A. The Walkertown Public Library is a central location for the gardeners. We also felt the library plays a vital role in community activities. Having the community garden at such a location provides greater awareness to the people of Walkertown. It’s a beautiful addition that Walkertown can be proud of. The Walkertown Public Library is also conveniently close to the elementary school, allowing us to lead by example. Walkertown’s children will be able to see where vegetables come from.
Q. Can anyone work in the garden?
A. Anyone can request a space in the Walkertown Library Community Garden. All spaces are taken this year; however we have a waiting list. If you would like to be added to the waiting list please contact Kim Dobesh . There is a $20 fee per year to cover water usage. The gardens are available for people to look at, but please be respectful and remember they are reserved for those renting the space for the current season and the produce is not available to others. If you are in need of food assistance please contact the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC at 336-784-5770.