Garden Project Turns Vacant Lot into Community Garden

Fresh food and healthy living are the theme behind a new community project in Southport.

A small group of gardeners got together about two years ago in Southport, North Carolina with an idea to create a local garden out of an unused vacant lot. After receiving a grant from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation of $20,000, they found the perfect sunny spot on Caswell Avenue in downtown Southport and produced the Caswell Avenue Community Garden. The garden is finally complete and on Jan. 25th the Caswell Avenue Community Garden had its grand opening ceremony.

Chairperson of the garden’s steering committee, Michelle Spencer, says the garden will go a long way in improving the health of local residents. “I believe if people have the opportunity to grow their own fresh food, they will do it,” she said. “It’s good for mental and physical health. And nutrition is important right now with so many people suffering from diabetes, obesity and heart disease.”

Jan. 11th was the deadline for applying for a garden bed but it is not too late, they still have a few left and anyone from Brunswick County can apply. Spencer, an assistant for Brunswick County’s Cooperative Extension Ag-horticulture program, said, “If anyone is still interested, they should contact me, we still have some openings.”

The unused lot was transformed over a two-year period into a garden complex of 30 beds, which can be used for group gardening or individual gardeners. “Self-sustainability and accessibility are very important for this garden, we designed it with that in mind,” said Spencer. Some of the beds are raised to different heights to allow people to garden while sitting or standing.

Two are high enough that a wheelchair can fit under the bed and a total of six are accessible by wheelchair. Additionally, two of the garden beds are self-feeding and self-watering raised beds, using an innovative dual technique of compost for plant nutrition and water conservation.

About H Potter

H Potter ( started, like so many great businesses of the United States, on the kitchen table after family dinner and before sending the littlest in the group to bed. Gardens are places where families gather and experience great moments.

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