Palmetto unveils community garden plan

Thu, 02/26/2009 - 3:45pm
By: Ben Nelms

Spring planting is only a few weeks away. But this year in Palmetto, planting a garden is about to take on a whole new meaning. The city on March 8 is set to begin the week-long construction of a large community garden at Wayside Park on U.S. Highway 29. The citizen effort will include assistance from 10 students from University of Vermont’s Alternative Spring Break Program, Palmetto Elementary School Jr. Beta Club, Hill Country Montessori and Serenbe Organic Farms.

Garden project coordinator Kimberly Adams said the city is providing the use of the land for the garden site, but all the funds for the initial installation are from private donations which will allow for a first growing season this summer. 

“We are also busily applying for grants to hopefully cover a next phase of installation including a garden shed, some handicap accessible raised beds, and compost bins as well as garden tools such as a tiller,” Adams said. 

Adams said the University of Vermont students will be staying at private residences during their week-long visit in Palmetto.

Plans for the first phase of the garden project call for installation of an area containing 15 4-foot by 8-foot plots for individuals or groups and 2 school plots surrounded by a picket fence. Future installations are expected to include blueberry bushes and fig trees along with tables and a storage shed. The remainder of the 140-foot by 90-foot area will be planted in sunflowers and other wildflowers, with composting piles, trash and recycling bins nearby.

Once completed, classes on growing and healthy living will be provided by Hill County Montessori and Serenbe Organic Farms.

Community gardens can have many far-reaching benefits, according to the American community Garden Association. Those include improves the quality of life for people in the garden, providing a catalyst for neighborhood and community development, stimulating social interaction, encouraging self-reliance, beautifying neighborhoods, producing nutritious food, reducing family food budgets, conserving resources, creating opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education, reducing crime, preserving green space, creating income opportunities and economic development, reducing city heat from streets and parking lots and providing opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections.

Anyone interested in reserving a garden plot or making a donation of time, materials, or money can contact me at or (770) 463-2826.

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