The Lee Street Garden Project
is a new garden right in downtown Blacksburg. It's not really a community garden, but instead it is a communal garden. A small handful of gardeners of varying experience levels will be working on what used to be a vacant lot to turn it into a real working garden. There will definitely be more growing there than we could hope to eat ourselves so anything extra will be donated to local groups that bring fresh produce to those that can not afford to buy it themselves! Why should you give?
While the garden might not benefit you directly this is a project that we feel is important for several reasons. So here are some of the benefits of having it in our town.
1) Much of downtown Blacksburg is used for student housing which is often not well maintained. This space has been sought after for the establishment of an apartment complex and likely would have been turned into that if it were not for the generosity of the property owner.
2) There are several unused parcels of land in town that are just going to waste. Placing a garden here adds to the beauty of the neighborhood and allows for more than just houses and apartments to make up the landscape. This project could become a model for other similar projects in town and beyond.
3) The Lee Street Garden Project, unlike more traditional community gardens, is a cooperative effort. By using this model we can maximize the effectiveness of the land use. Good practices can help reduce water usage as well as increase the yield of the crops.
4) Shared knowledge can happen moreeasily among those participating in communal gardening. It also allows for non gardeners (community members and others) to get a chance to participate and learn more about gardening without a long term commitment.
5)Donating food is a huge goal for this garden. While we as gardeners do want to use the food for ourselves, we feel it is quite likely that there are ways to overproduce and thus have a good surplus to give to those in need of healthy fresh food options. The Land
The property is owned by the daughter of a long time gardener. She lets us use the property in return for maintaining the land. Last year we tried growing some of her father's tomatoes but didn't have a whole lot of luck. But maybe this season will be better! The garden area gets full sun most of the day and has some great areas for shade around the sides to keep the gardeners cool. There's even some black raspberry bushes growing in the woods. The Garden
The garden itself is about 70'x70' and is tilled into rows and paths for a very easily maintained structure. Fencing is in the works right now to protect from the wildlife that is often visiting the area. Deer, rabbits, groundhogs, and other critters can be a nuisance so we need to get that done right.
Water is supplied from one gardener's home adjacent to the property. Drip irrigation will make it as efficient as possible to save on waste and cost.
In the front of the garden there is space for a lot of flowers and other decorative items. Mulch was provided by local area tree removal companies last year. What's Growing
Last season we started late so there wasn't a long season. We did have success with some tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes. This year we have the following planned for growing.
- Bell Peppers
- Beans (soup and green)
- Sweet potatoes
- HerbsThanks so much for your support!
-The Lee Street Gardeners
P.S. We'll send you a postcard for every donation!