700 Pounds and Growing!
Wow! We can't believe that we only started this journey a few months ago and have already contributed more than 700 pounds of fresh produce to our neighbors in need! This happened because of all of you who donated, volunteered, consulted and showed support for this joint venture and we thank you!
Our experience has been challenging and productive and our teams of volunteers are working hard to learn, improve and keep up the good work! We are still harvesting beans and peppers (sweet and hot). Late summer plantings are yielding greens and radishes with more to come!
As the summer vegetable harvest closed, the fall plantings began with lettuces, arugula, spinach and green beans. We have recently added kale, collards, cabbage, Swiss chard, carrots, brussels sprouts, and acorn and butternut squash. The plan is to produce and harvest year round.
We continue to explore and evaluate the various options for food donations and are so pleased to know that our neighbors have a number of options to choose from! Our goal is fresh as possible to those who will use it! Our best fit at this time is the newly opened Atlanta Community Food Bank located at 1605 Austell Road, Marietta 30008.
They place our produce right on the shelves and into the carts with an added bonus providing shoppers of nutritional and recipe information on many of the vegetables printed in English or Spanish! It is hoped that we will expand our relationship with the Food Bank in the future to include educational programs on site. More to come on that!
The cooler temperatures and slower harvest has allowed us a little more time to breathe and we are pleased to report that our large mulch pile has been spread, thanks to efforts of volunteer Guy VanHorn. Now that we can access more space, we are exploring the addition of a Hoop House or Garden Tunnel, determining placement of additional raised beds, adding more herbs and pollinator plants and evaluating what we have accomplished this far and where we need to focus growing forward. All we can say is WHEW!
Pictured below is the newly organized interior of our shed thanks to our donors and the generous and hard work of Master Gardeners Grady McWhorter and Don Doyle who designed and installed the pegboard, shelving and counter. A moveable ladder allows us to reach the upper storage areas with ease.
There has been much recent news on the spread of the Joro Spider, (above) native to East Asia. It was first detected in Georgia in 2013 and is spreading throughout the Southeast and North Georgia.
Is it an invasive species? According to the UGA Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, no. While not native, at this point there is no evidence that it is displacing our other beneficial native spiders like the native yellow garden spider (top right), which made a happy home among our Wellness Garden tomatoes this summer. The Joro, trichonephila clavata, is now well settled in our area.
Since so many species in both the plant and animal kingdom have look alikes, it is important to be sure you know what you are looking at before you destroy it - especially in our gardens! Learn more about this new "neighbor" by reading this article from UGA Today and if it is creating a problem in your landscape, this article from UGA Extension may be of interest to you.
Guy and his wife Bobbi grew up in Ohio and moved to Cobb County in the 1980s, where they raised three daughters. With so much to offer, has he learned anything new? Yes.
"You do not necessarily plant a garden to meet community needs like you do the garden in your backyard. Here, the emphasis is on the high yield of primary fruits & vegetables that are rich in nutrients, easy to prepare, and can support multiple families."
Guy encourages anyone who enjoys being outdoors, community service, and seeing quality foods grown locally to get involved. He emphasizes, “It is always amazing to witness the dynamic of neighbors helping other neighbors in need.”
He learned about the Wellness Garden through the groundbreaking announcement on Cobb County Government's Facebook page. Guy's interests in horticulture, local food systems, and giving back to the community motivated him to join our team. The team has benefitted from his hard work, commitment and recent MS degree in Foods and Nutrition! Lifelong learners are very welcomed here! We are also pleased to announce that Guy will be taking the UGA Master Gardener Extension Volunteer training program next year.
If you or someone you know is interested in working in the garden, please contact us at email@example.com. Workdays are Monday mornings.
WellStar Health Systems, Inc.
Cobb County Farm Bureau
Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County
Cobb County Soil and Water Conservation District
Cobb EMC Foundation
Mountain High Mulch
Grava | Terra Landscape | Hardscape Designer
Master Gardeners: Cheryl Stiles, JoAnne Newman, Dana Greene, Electa Keil, Donna Kennedy,
Cobb County Conservation District
Cobb County Conservation District 678 South Cobb Drive, Suite 150, Marietta, GA 30060
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