Gardens that give
A half-acre doesn't sound like a lot of land, but it's more than enough for The Lord's Acre. This volunteer-based garden in Fairview grew more than 34 tons of organic produce in its first four years, which is quite a feat for a small, community-minded garden with a philanthropic mission.
The garden's name references the Farmers Federation's long-standing push to encourage growers to give one-tenth of their produce to those in need. The Lord's Acre carries on this tradition by providing food to ABCCM’s Veterans Restoration Quarters, Helpmate, the Welcome Table and others.
Donating canned goods to a food drive makes a big difference, but fresh produce provides much-needed nutrients that just can't be found in a box. "There are many types of hunger," explains Susan Sides, executive director and garden manager. "Everyone is hungry for something. Everyone has something to give."
There's no better way to "teach a man to fish" than with hands-on experience with dirt and plants. The Lord's Acre provides education to community members who want to learn how to grow food. Everyone from children to seniors have plunged trowels, weeded rows and pushed wheelbarrows in the name of feeding the hungry.
Whether you're an experienced gardener or "have no idea which end of a carrot is up," The Lord's Acre has room for you. Come once a season or every week if your schedule allows. Even if you have a garden at home, lending a hand in the name of food security is always worth the effort.
The Lord's Acre hosts public volunteer days on Tuesdays from 9-11 a.m., and Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m. The garden is located at 26 Joe Jenkins Road in Fairview. (The Lord's Acre is not the unfenced garden adjacent to Joe Jenkins Road and isn't visible from the street. Follow the dirt road, crest the hill and behold the beauty of The Lord's Acre). http://www.thelordsacre.org.
Bees, bees everywhere
Most gardeners rejoice when they see bees buzzing around the veggie patch. Watching bees flit among the tomato cages and land on a zucchini flower is enough to make a grower's heart sing. Even though vegetables are still a few weeks away from flowering, Bee City USA believes that the first week of June is the perfect time to extol this humble insect.
Asheville was named the inaugural Bee City USA last year. This national effort to educate the public about the power of bees has made a big impact on our fair city. Just drop the “r” from Beer City and you have a region that appreciates and celebrates all that pollinators have to offer.
Pollinate Asheville, a 15-day celebration of our region's bees, will feature several screenings of The Bee Movie at Asheville Pizza and Brewing, a Father's Day garden tour sponsored by Asheville GreenWorks, a lecture by Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, and much more.
The Buncombe County Beekeepers Chapter will host its annual field day on Saturday, June 8, from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Beekeepers are invited to catch a swarm, make a hive division and participate in master beekeeper testing.
Wild Mountain Bees supply outlet in Asheville invites the public to see an observation hive, sample local honey and ask the experts beekeeping questions on Friday, June 21, from 11 a.m. -5:30 p.m.
For a full schedule of Pollinate Asheville events visit http://www.beecityusa.org/pollinator-week.