We Dig It

Local Gardens That Give Back Growing & Teaching Located on the campus at HumanKind, the Davis Instruction Garden is a demonstration garden with plots that

Local Gardens That Give Back

Growing & Teaching
Located on the campus at HumanKind, the Davis Instruction Garden is a demonstration garden with plots that concentrate on production for those in need.

In July, Hill City Master Gardeners harvested Yukon Gold potatoes for distribution along with other summer vegetables. All were distributed to local community organizations. Last year, more than 1,400 pounds of Irish and sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, melons, squash, and more were provided to local nonprofits.

The Davis Instruction Garden also provides gardening training for the community. Although still restrained by virus precautions, this year’s garden includes 15 leased plots for beginning gardeners.

For information contact Gene Wolanski: genew36456@aol.com or 434-426-2371.

Nurturing a Community
A local group has been getting their hands dirty in the Pierce Street neighborhood to create a raised bed community garden.

When planning their Leadership Lynchburg service project, Team Big Hearts researched food deserts and poverty statistics in the area. They also spoke with local officials to pinpoint areas with the greatest need.

“We met with Dr. Nina Salmon, a board member of the nonprofit Pierce Street Gateway, and our causes intertwined,” said team member Sarah Blankenship. “They desired to build a garden on the lawn of the first black-owned business in Lynchburg in an effort to take the first step to raise awareness of the importance of the historical site; we were hooked.”

The garden is located on the site of the Spencer Calloway General Store. So far, Blankenship says neighborhood turnout and support has been “superb.”

With help from businesses such as Lowe’s in Madison Heights and JMJ Landscape Supply Center, they planted late season crops; once those are ready, neighbors will harvest and distribute the produce to area residents.

If you want to help out, email piercestreetgarden@gmail.com.

Purposeful Jobs
Aside from growing food for the community through its numerous programs, part of the mission of Lynchburg Grows is to provide meaningful work for people with disabilities.

The nonprofit currently employs four individuals with physical and/or mental disabilities who are responsible for all farm chores as well as planting, harvesting and processing produce. They also look for ways to develop their social and communication skills in various leadership roles.

“They all seem to love it here and think of it as their second family and that’s the atmosphere that we cultivate,” said Stuart Overbey, marketing director.

“I think it’s important to all of them that they feel part of something bigger than themselves.”

Lynchburg Grows also oversees regular volunteers with disabilities who come from local organizations such as The Arc.

Learn more about this organization at lynchburggrows.org.

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