Gardeners enjoy harvest celebration|Community garden shows hard work will bring rewards

Published 1:40 pm Sunday, August 23, 2009

Special to the Daily News

Beaufort County’s Community Garden is producing more than just produce.
On Tuesday, the Beaufort County Master Gardeners, plot-holders at the garden, Cooperative Extension employees and garden donors met to celebrate the success of the garden’s first growing season.
They taste-tested “harvest creations” prepared by community gardeners and master gardeners They viewed a slide-show presentation on the development of the garden, located on 1.1 acres of Warren Field Airport Land in Washington.
The garden was just a dream of master gardener Jim Keen’s in the summer of 2008. The county’s master gardeners pulled together a committee of 14 volunteers and a substantial financial donation to get the idea off the paper and into the ground. The winter months were busy ones for the volunteers, who built a deer fence, installed an irrigation system with faucets and put in paths between garden plots. With their hard work, approval from the City of Washington and financial donations and support from community members like Andrew Arnold, a local farmer who plowed the land several times, the garden opened its gates to planting April 17.
Though not without some trials, the community gardeners saw plenty of reward for the time and hard work they put into their garden plots. Carl Crozier and his son, Eric, saw their plot produce 48 peppers, 18 tomatoes, 15 eggplants and 20 cucumbers, to name a few of the plot’s produce items. The Beaufort County Developmental Center’s community inclusion-program participants harvested squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, peppers and pumpkins from two plots. Doris and Bob Emer’s plot produced more than 300 tomatoes and 186 cucumbers. Some gardeners with abundant harvests donated produce to Eagle’s Wings, a Washington-based nonprofit that fights hunger.
Cooperative Extension personnel and master gardeners used the garden as a backdrop for endless educational opportunities such as the Kids in the Garden day held June 5. Classes for gardeners included training on fresh produce safety and small-plot gardening.
As author Linus Mundy said, “Think small. Planting tiny seeds in the small space given you can change the world, or at the very least, your view of it.”
Anyone interested in making a contribution, learning more about the garden or obtaining a plot in the garden should contact Tanya Weyhrauch at 252-946-0111 or by sending e-mail to
Tanya Weyhrauch is a horticulture agent with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service’s Beaufort County office.