Monday, June 2, 2014

Community Garden

Thanks to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and all the other sponsors listed on the sign, Florence has its first and very popular community garden.

Hub, who needed volunteer hours to complete his Master Gardener certification, did a lot of work helping build these 4' x 8' raised beds. There are approximately fifty raised beds, and all of them are full.

The raised beds were constructed using pressure-treated lumber, then filled with compost, some of it consisting of decomposed trash from ginning cotton.  Soil tests were done, then lime and commercial fertilizer were added. Each bed was irrigated.

First choice of the beds was given to veterans; then to people who do not have access to land to grow a garden; people who are physically unable to garden traditional, non-raised bed gardens, and 
 those economically unable to build a garden. Unfortunately, there was not enough for everyone who wanted one.

There is a large variety of plants, and almost everyone has squash and tomatoes planted. 

This ripe tomato is a Cherokee purple.  The owner of this bed must have put in big plants; most of the tomatoes are not ready yet.

Love that globe basil in the upper right corner.

I'm guessing this family loves their eggplant.

Old Glory in the basil.  There are various windmills and other decorations, including one garden gnome.

This bed is all herbs and flowers, and the butterflies were swarming!

Pink bee balm, Monarda didyma, one of my favorite plants.

The Alabama Extension office is located very close to the garden.  Every week day during the growing season, there are two master gardeners there to answer gardening questions.  If they are unable to answer the questions, they are linked in to the Auburn Extension service for additional information.  The extension office also has written information available for new or forgetful gardeners.