On Wednesday, June 24th, I had the pleasure to attend a Midsummer Garden Celebration at the new community garden on 10 1/2 Street in Charlottesville. Our very own garden volunteer Michael Mahoney is helping with this project and led the group for a tour of the garden during the celebration. There were so many creative touches, such as ordering the herb sections of one of the beds to be in line with the Simon and Garfunkel lyrics, “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme,” to having a three sisters bed. This is the companion planting method used by Native Americans that has corn, squash and beans growing within the same area at the same time. Like all companion planting methods, this allows for each of the plants to exist codependently with each other. In the case of the “three sisters” the corn provides a place for the beans to grow up and the squash act as a ground cover helping to keep the soil moist.
This garden is a effort of St. Paul’s Memorial Church, on University Ave., as a way of interacting with the 10th and Page neighborhood. The use of the piece of land that the garden is located on was donated by one of the neighbors and another neighbor allows the garden to use their hose for water. Once a vacant lot, the garden now adds a place for neighbors to pick produce and relax under the beautiful trees along the back of the property.
The June 24th celebration featured food, music and poetry and the performances happened within the sunflower circle at the garden. It was a great mix of ages and made me truly excited about how community gardens can affect both people and neighborhoods!
If anyone is interested in volunteering with this garden, please contact Michael at email@example.com. They usually try to have workdays at the garden on Thursdays around 6:30.