Monday, April 11, 2011

NEWS FROM THE GARDEN, July 17, 2011 Celebration of Jim Holmes


Volunteers joined in a  celebration of the life of Jim Holmes, Jr. the founder of our garden at Centenary United Methodist Church on Friday after his passing away last Tuesday.  

Jim's son, Jim Holmes III, spoke eloquently of his father and his approach to life. Included in his father's many experiences was the food bank community garden which he started in 1994 after his retirement. Many people who knew Jim were struck by his total commitment to a vision of a garden and to know how to make it work. He had to learn to plow, plant and harvest. As a member of the boards of The Children's Home, Centenary United Methodist Church and Second Harvest, he worked with other leaders to attain their participation in the garden project. His goal was to gain volunteers who would plant and harvest the produce but also become more aware of the needs of the people struggling to put food on their tables. The garden was not only a service project but also an educational program.

Jim's kind, gentle and generous spirit will always be in the garden and a legacy to all who continue on the path he set. We extend our love and gratitude to Betty Holmes and all the Holmes family.

Kiosk Information Board is completed

Our new communications center is finished and looks great. Thanks to Mike Lawless, Trevor and Cooper Erickson and Richard McGavern, we have a first class structure modeled on a plan from kiosks at Montana State Parks. Our guys had to alter the plan quite a lot and work in 100 degree heat, but they did it. It will make a huge difference in enabling volunteers to feel more connected to what is going on. It will include general information plus in depth coverage of our efforts to become sustainable by improving our soil, planting cover crops, attracting pollinators, etc.

The structure was made possible by a grant from the Sustainable Action Resources Group of North Carolina. The grant, which we shared with The Children's Home, was facilitated by the Forsyth County NC Cooperative Extension Service.


Thank you to groups who came last week:

  • Wake Forest Scholl of Medicine, Youth health careers programs (2nd visit)
  • Mt. Tabor United Methodist Church, youth and adults 
  • Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, children and adults 
  • 4 H Trailblazers, Children, youth and adults

We need more groups! With bigger harvests rolling in, do you know a group who would like to help? Just call 922 7195 to let us know you are coming with a group. 



How do we select our crops?

First, every year we meet with Second Harvest Food Bank to see what crops are most popular and needed. They also suggest new crops, for example, we are growing jalapeno peppers and more melons this year at their request. This year we are growing about 30 different vegetables, fruits, herbs and cover crops.

Several crops are "standards" such as the obvious ones like tomatoes, squash and cucumbers. However, every year we evaluate what did well and what did not do so well. We will try a new variety where needed or if someone makes a suggestion. 

Most of our seeds come from one of the local hardware stores which sells seeds in bulk. We also order some specialty seeds from Johnny's Seed Company, Renee's Garden or Seed Saver's Exchange.


New crops this year

  •  Zephyr Squash: a new variety, yellow with a green stripe, more disease resistant
  •  Big Beef Tomato and Rutgers Tomato: chosen for flavor and portability; both tomatoes are known to "travel well". Big Beef is an award winning variety.
  • Sugar Baby watermelon: Chosen as a smaller watermelon but so far it looks like a very big melon. We still grow Crimson Sweet (regular big melon)
  • Eggplant "Oriental Express". Fairly small, this eggplant is growing very well. We've never grown eggplant before but thought we would try it.
  • Beans: Several new varieties including Contenda, Mountaineer White Half Runner. We've been growing Tenderette, a bush bean that does well.
  • Cover crops: Sudan grass, cow peas and soybeans
There is a copy of our Garden Plan posted on the information kiosk. If you want a list of specific varieties or the full plan, just email us at and request garden plan.

Don't Forget: JULY is our biggest harvesting month. Lots of "heavy" crops are coming in and need picking three times a week (or more).

                    See you at the garden!
Coordinating Committee:
Mike and Sandee Lawless, Harry Corpening, Gaylen Bolz, Janette Griffin, Libit Glenn, Lila Cruikshank, Don and Patsy Dwiggins, Jennifer Pierce, Richard McGavern, Ellen Kirby
Questions?  Information? Call 336-922-7195

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