Sunday, June 27, 2004


I came to love organic gardening decades ago. When I was a small child, my grandparents, parents, the neighbors and kids from blocks around, had a joint project-- our HOME GROWN organic community garden. It was just a few blocks away and each night after supper, we all seemed to meet there, exchange the good news of the day, laugh and share the fruits of our labor.

We were city-dwellers, with a scaled-down version of the farms out in the country, but we used the same methods as they used very far from cities. And even though these systems needed less space and less work, and were inexpensive, they produced high yields of top-quality food. Grandpa explained that one square foot garden unit measuring only 16 sq ft holds an average of 130 plants and produces enough high-quality vegetables for one person, and that gardeners of all ages, sizes, and levels of experience can have a great time in such a garden.

The Community Organic Garden at a certain (please ask me about it) PRIVATE COMMUNITY near Asheville, is one of my current favorites. This mountaintop village with amazing amenities for the whole family, reminds me of my girlhood experience.

It sits comfortably at the foot of the mountain. I feel that surely must encourage an appreciation of gardening, just as our HOME GROWN garden from many years ago did for me. The garden simply invites members of the Unamed Country Club to come and be a part of the community. Here you can work with your hands, interact with others from the community, and to contribute your ideas and thoughts.

Organic gardening also is "one way to make a difference and educate people on the harmful effects on the earth of chemicals and pesticides," my friend, herself a master gardener explained. "Using chemical fertilizers actually kills the soil… turns it into something that's like poor quality concrete."

The collective handiwork of its participants inspires all who have contact with the garden. The resident master gardeneroversees the garden, but residents enjoy working their own plots. Herbs, vegetables, and flowers that happily grow here may well make their way up the mountainside to be used by the PRIVATE COMMUNITY'S culinary team.

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