Healthy Foods Series (Part 5 – Community Garden Project)

Promoting Fresh Foods and Friendships was the goal of the Community Garden Project started in May by Mayor Rogers Anderson and county employees. The corner of Academy Street and Everbright Avenue was transformed into a community garden and space was offered to county employees on a first-come, first-serve basis.county community garden 3

Mayor Anderson leaves the suit and tie behind to don farming clothes while he tends to his turnip greens, tomatoes and peppers planted in this urban experiment. “I had been thinking about urban gardens, and how they can provide not only fresh, nutritious food, but also a place to enjoy nature and develop friendships. I thought it was a worthwhile endeavor and a good use of resources for us to try in Williamson County,” said Anderson.

The garden is on county-owned property across from Academy Park Gym, and Williamson County Parks and Recreation is managing the project. For this inaugural year, sixteen ten-by-twenty plots were tilled and offered to Williamson County government employees on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition to the Mayor and Parks and Recreation employees, participants include the county’s Animal Control and Adoption Center, the Health and Public Safety Departments, Williamson County Schools and a couple of individual employees. county community garden 2

Phyllis Huffman, Marcia Dixon and others from the Parks and Recreation department’s administrative offices have a large cantaloupe patch, pole beans and tomatoes. “Good planning on the part of the urban farmers,” said Anderson, “will keep the fruits and vegetables coming in through the fall season.” Gardeners are trying to keep the garden as natural as possible, without the use of herbicides or pesticides. Certain wildflower varieties are planted near vegetables to keep rabbits away. “It has been a joy to work on this project and get to know who has a ‘green thumb’ among our county employees. Our community-minded gardeners have been sharing their fruits and vegetables with neighbors and coworkers. That’s the spirit of Williamson County,” remarked Anderson.

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Andrea has always loved the written word. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and a Masters in Creative Writing, both from Belmont University. Both sides of her family have lived in Williamson County for generations, so writing for Williamson Source is the perfect fit. She loves to hear stories of what Williamson County was like when her parents and grandparents were young and to write about this ever evolving county is truly special for her.