Growing in unison

photo by Max Cooper

On Crescent Street, just off of Charlotte Street, some local residents are reviving a form of agriculture, and trying to put food on the plate in the process.

The Charlotte Got Crops community garden focuses on the Native American practice of “the three sisters,” growing squash, corn and beans together. Julian Dominic, an area resident, helped organize the group last September, partly as a project for his permaculture apprenticeship.

“It's a place where we can all experiment, but also a place where people can get together, network and learn these practices,” he says. “In the fall, when everything needs to be processed, everyone gets together, telling stories, working with their hands, making corn meal, cooking tortillas. There's a bigger picture to it; it's not just an annual kale crop that you take home.”

“It's maintaining a tradition,” participant Tom Llewellyn adds. An A-B Tech class also built and contributed a shed to the project, he mentions. Now the participants are working on sourcing different types of corn, expanding to fruit and nut trees, and hoping that they can take their knowledge and teach it to others around the community.

So far, seven of the nine Got Crops members are mothers. One of them, Robin Early, just moved to Asheville, and says, “I don't have my own space yet to do gardening, so I'm really excited about getting together with other people.” She mentions, “I'm from Alaska, so I don't know how to grow things outside of the Artic. I enjoy learning about the soil and the different type of crops here.”

“I think if we're all enthusiastic, it will have a positive outcome,” Early says.

For more information about the project, go to charlottecrops.tumblr.com.

— David Forbes can be reached at 251-1333, ext. 137 or dforbes@mountainx.com.

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