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Community garden takes root in Fayetteville

Posted August 4, 2009

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— If you are tired of shelling out money for produce at the grocery store, maybe you should get a green thumb. If you don't have a yard of your own, you might be able to rent space in a community garden.

Garden cultivates a sense of community Garden cultivates a sense of community

The Town of Fayetteville has started a community garden on a 5-acre parcel of land on Story Street, off Old Wilmington Road.

"Cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, squash and hot peppers,” Christina Smith said of the vegetables in her community garden plot.

Smith shares her garden with sister, Lynette. For $30 worth of seeds, the Smiths figure their garden will produce about a few hundred dollars worth of produce – a rather good investment.

"Yes, it is a good return ... because the price of a pound of produce these days is ridiculous,” Lynette Fisher said.

So far, 68 plots are made; with all but six occupied. It costs $25 a year to rent a plot, plus the expense of seeds. Water is supplied by the Public Works Commission of Fayetteville.

"It's about really building community and changing lives,” said Candace Williams, associate director for the Sandhills Area Land Trust, which directs the land protection efforts.

After reading about poverty in the area, Williams said she wanted to create something beautiful that would nourish the body and soul of a community.

"It's a wonderful thing to be able to eat from the land – in a healthy way – that food hasn't traveled 1,500 miles to get to our plate,” Candace Williams said.

The children from Rosalind Williams’ summer camp program at J.S. Spivey Recreational Center take part in her community garden.

"One thing, it teaches them a little work. To have something beautiful, to have fresh vegetables, you have to work at it,” Rosalind Williams said.

Candace Williams said the community garden was made possible entirely through donations from businesses, organizations and individuals. She hopes to eventually have 100 plots. She also said she wants a flower pavilion on the property that would be open to the public.

To find a community garden near you, visit the American Community Gardening Association Web site.

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