Workday planned for community garden Saturday

Published 7:03 pm Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Clanton Evening Lions Club designed its community garden to allow residents to grow produce at a low cost.

The Clanton Evening Lions Club designed its community garden to allow residents to grow produce at a low cost.

A benefit of living in Chilton County is the proximity to its variety of locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables available at farmers markets and stores throughout the year.

However, buying fresh produce every week might not be financially feasible for some people, especially if they are purchasing groceries for a large family.

For the second consecutive year now, the Clanton Evening Lions Club is providing a community garden where residents can grow their own fruits and vegetables at a low cost and still be part of the population supporting the edible products of Chilton County soil.

Evening Lions Club member Greg Nobles said the idea to create a public garden for adults and possibly students needing an outdoor classroom came to him about seven years ago.

“I felt like there were probably people in our community that couldn’t afford fresh vegetables,” Nobles said, adding, “I thought it would be a good training thing for the schools.”

Nobles said the new one-acre garden is located off Popwell Avenue just beyond Irwin Family Chiropractic Clinic near Chilton Medical Center.

The first garden was located behind the old Henry M. Adair School.

“This is much better soil, and we’re excited about that,” Nobles said of the new location.

The club is selling 10-by-10-foot plots for $5 each and will provide seeds for tomatoes and other types of vegetables and fruits at no charge to plot owners.

Currently, Nobles said 12–15 people have purchased plots, but plenty more space is available.

People can purchase multiple plots up to a $20 limit.

“We’ll get the ground ready; all they have to do is plant it and keep it clean,” Nobles said. “They cannot grow it for (re)sale. They have to grow it either to eat themselves or give away.”

The club will use unsold plots to grow foods to give to community members in need.

Those who own plots in the garden may work on them any day at any time.

Nobles said the land on which the new garden sits is owned by Elaine Gore of Tennessee. She gave the club permission to use it.

The club plans to apply for a grant through the Chilton Research and Extension Center for additional funding but has already received donations from LeCroy Career Technical Center, Georgia-Pacific, Boatright Companies, Jones Feed and Seed Company and others.

Chilton County Master Gardeners have also offered their services in helping with the garden.

If weather permits, a workday will be held at the garden Saturday, April 6 at 9 a.m.

Volunteers are welcome and needed to help build two raised beds and begin the seed-planting process.

Nobles said the community garden is open to people of all ages and abilities and is wheelchair accessible.

“When it comes time to harvest, we could used help during those times and keeping it clean,” Nobles said. “We have a responsibility to keep it clean. It needs to look nice.”

Workday volunteers can simply show up at 9 a.m. Saturday and are encouraged to bring any gardening tools they have, such as spades, hoes and shovels.

Those interested in purchasing a plot may do so at the workday.

For more information, call Greg Nobles at (205) 389-2141.