Who are we?
Most of our gardeners are either new or fairly new to gardening but we do have a number of those who have been growing vegetables and flowers for years. In addition we are very fortunate to have several Master Gardeners. Our members are from both the community and Chestnut Ridge Christian Church. Those in need of a gardening space are invited to join us as we have plots available. You do not have to be a member of the church to participate.
What was the purpose of starting a community garden?
In the Spring of 2009, members of Chestnut Ridge Christian Church decided to set aside space on an unused portion of the church’s property for a “Square-Foot Garden” to grow fresh, organic vegetables for local food pantries and people in need. It was hoped this produce would assist those who were going through the challenging times of a weak economy and provide some healthy alternative foods.
The vision was to partner with other organizations, in the hope to expand interest in gardening and spread the healthy value of locally grown produce as a key part of a healthy diet.
How did you get started?
Debbie Abernathy, a member of Chestnut Ridge Christian Church, had the vision of involving the church and community in an ongoing, outreach project. She identified the focus; feeding those in need. She pulled together a steering committee that envisioned a “Feed the Hungry” Garden and eventually adding additional beds for the community, who would be asked to contribute 10% of the produce they grew. It was begun with the construction of 3 boxes. The soil was prepared, added and vegetables were planted.
How long has the garden existed?
The “Feed the Hungry” garden was started in the spring of 2009 with 3 plots. The garden now has 68 plots. While maintaining the church’s plots for local pantries, additional plots were made available to individuals from the local community at a nominal fee. They were then responsible for planting, maintaining, and harvesting produce for their own personal use and donations to feed the hungry. It is hoped that this will help meet a growing need for gardening space in the suburbs of Metro Atlanta for safe, fresh, home-grown produce and also build a sense of community among those who participate.
Where are you located?
We are located behind Chestnut Ridge Christian Church at 2663 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta Georgia, 30062 (Corner of Johnson Ferry Road and Post Oak Tritt Road)
How big is the garden?
The total gardening area is one fourth of an acre.
Who receives the food?
The food has been donated to the Center for Family Resources, Marietta First Christian Church Food Pantry, Extension for Women, Transfiguration Church, and MUST Ministries.
Is it only for church members?
No, local community people are invited to participate.
Is there a cost and what does that include?
- 4×4 plots – $20.00 for the year (summer and winter growing seasons)
- 3×10 plots – $40.00 for the year (summer and winter growing seasons)
For the year you receive a raised bed complete with soil, access to standing hose bibs with hoses and watering wands, access to free classes and workshops, gardening support from Master Gardeners, sprinkled with hard work and fun.
As a member, what are one’s obligations?
Adhere to the following CrossRoads Community Garden Guidelines:
1. I understand that the number of plots are limited and that my household can have one 4×4 OR one 3×10 OR if availability allows, one 4×4 and one 3×10 OR two 4x4s (two 3x10s cannot be leased). This is a per household allotment so individual family members may not apply.
2. I will have something planted in the garden by May 15th and will keep something planted in it throughout the year unless I temporarily hand it over to FTH.
3. If I abandon my plot for any reason, I will notify the coordinator, Debbie Abernathy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. I will keep weeds clear in my plot.
5. I will bag weeds and diseased plants. I will then remove them from the property or place them in recycled bags near the trash bins located next to the shed.
6. I will participate in a garden and compost orientation via video link or in person and I will adhere to all processes explained in the orientation.
7. If my plot becomes unkempt, I understand I will be given notice to clean it up. If this is not accomplished in a two week time frame, it will be re-assigned or tilled in. However, if I have extenuating circumstances, I will contact Debbie Abernathy, email@example.com.
8. I will keep trash and litter out of the plot, as well as from adjacent pathways and fences.
9. I will conserve water by watering plants in the morning or evening, rather than in the heat of the day. I will apply water at the base of each plant counting for 20 seconds. I will use mulch (hay, straw, or grass clippings) to reduce evaporation from the soil.
10. I understand that unattended watering sprinklers are not allowed.
11. I will participate in at least two workdays throughout the year as part of the community garden activities.
12. I will pick only my own crops unless given permission by another plot user.
13. I will use only organic fertilizers, insecticides or weed repellents whenever possible.
14. I will not bring pets into the garden.
15. I will supervise any young children that I bring to the garden.
16. I will place only organic materials in the compost pile per composting directions.
17. I will notify Debbie Abernathy at firstname.lastname@example.org if I am open to allow my plot to be used during the winter. However, by March 1st, the plot will be returned to me.
18. I will honor the request of donating 10% of what my garden produces to local food pantries; CRCC will help coordinate this effort.
19. I understand that neither the garden group nor owners of the land are responsible for my actions.
What kind of support is there for gardeners?
The garden has partnered with a number of local organizations such as Cobb County’s Wright Nature Center (located adjacent to the church property), Master Gardeners, and Cobb County Extension for training, assistance, and demonstrations on various gardening methods and topics.
How do you apply for a garden plot?
You can fill out an application online or you can download the application, complete and return to the church office. Every February, garden plots are assigned according to availability, depending on the number of gardeners who do not return. You will be notified via email if you have received one of the available plots. You will have a designated amount of time to accept the assignment and submit payment. If you have any questions, contact Debbie Abernathy at email@example.com.
What is the responsibility of returning gardeners?