It’s easy to miss the church on the corner of Temple and Gordon Streets in Lithia Springs near the busy intersection of Highway 78 and North Sweetwater Road. After all, it’s on the other side of the railroad tracks, it’s almost hidden by those big beautiful GA Crepe Myrtles – but Lithia Springs United Methodist Church (LSUMC) has been breaking new ground at the corner – “A Community Garden”. LSUMC expects to provide free fresh vegetables to the community in this food desert section of Douglas County and it hopes that this garden will serve as a catalyst for additional partnerships with community residents. To this end, the community has been invited to participate in the garden.
The 5700 sq. ft garden, being nurtured by a 2014 graduate of Douglas County Extension Master Gardener’s program has 3 simple goals: Provide free fresh vegetables to a local pantry for distribution to community residents; Provide educational sessions on home gardening, cooking with herbs, composting, and health and nutrition, and finally serve as a demonstration garden for the community and especially for students at the local Annette Winn Elementary School.
LSUMC officially broke ground on the project on Sunday April 26th, and within hours, tilling began on the plot. On Saturday May 9th a contingent of volunteers began the painstaking task of shaping raised beds, and making them ready for planting.
Douglas County Extension the first partner in this project is allowing DC Master Gardeners to earn hours for time donated to the project.
DC Master Gardeners Assn another partner has made donations of tools, soil, seeds and some top soil to get the garden started. Most importantly they are serving as mentors in the project along with the extension agent.
LSUMC garden expects its 1st harvest by early August and plans to continue preparing more beds for an even larger fall planting – still, we need a lot more help, a secure shed to store tools, installation of an a drip irrigation system, a fence to help prevent loss from wild animals, additional tools, (forks, hoes, shovels, etc.,) along with a supply of fertilizers and top soil.
The garden will be open to volunteers, Mondays and Thursdays, from 8:30 to 10:30 during the summer hours. You can contact the coordinator at 770-948-5429 or email firstname.lastname@example.org