1. What is the garden’s mission?
The mission of Gracious Harvest is to be a place to cultivate the soil, the spirit, God’s bounty, and the community where friends and family join hearts and hands together to feed the body and soul.
2. Where is the garden located?
The garden lives in downtown Cary, just south of the First United Methodist Church, and southwest of the FUMC Memorial Garden Columbarium. It is accessible from Ashworth Village's Waldo street parking lot by walking west along the northern boundary of the columbarium, or from anywhere in the FUMC parking lot by walking around the south side of the columbarium. Those needing to drive directly to the garden (e.g., to pick up or deliver materials, plants, or food!), should navigate to 105 Zev Summit Lane in Cary.
3. Will it be organic?
Yes, if at all possible, we’ll remain committed to using no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. We don’t just want our locally-grown produce to be as good as store-bought; we want it to be better!
4. What will be grown?
Member families will help decide what is grown from among vegetables that grow well in this area such as; Beans, Lettuce, Beets, Melons, Broccoli, Okra, Brussels, Sprouts, Onions Cabbage, Peas, Peppers, Corn, Potatoes, Cucumbers, Radishes, Eggplant, SnapBeans, Greens, Collard, Kale, Mustard, Turnip, Spinach, Squash, Herbs, Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, Sweet Potato, and Tomatoes
5. Will everyone have individual plots, or share one large one?
Gracious Harvest will be a true community garden in as many ways as we can, making it one large plot where everyone shares together in the planning, tending, harvesting, and fellowship! This will foster relationships and education about our garden, and make the most of our space so that we can make a difference to our neighbors in need.
6. How much experience do I need with gardening?
We welcome all ages and stages, from the beginner to the Master Gardener. Absolutely no experience is required. This is intended to be a place where we can all learn together in Christian fellowship.
7. How much will I be required to work?
During the growing season, there will be regular workdays every Saturday morning, and sometimes during weekday morning or evenings when the garden is especially productive. Member families can decide for themselves how much to participate. A reasonable goal is one regular workday a month. Since families share in the harvest on any workdays they attend, it is truly a case of "the more you put into it, the more you get out of it!"
8. Is there a fee to be a member? What do I get for that?
There is a small membership fee ($10 per year). This fee will be waived for neighboring families, and for others when the fee might be a hardship. We're more interested in having your family in our garden than having your money in our treasury! Our garden provides fresh fruits and vegetables, but it also provide opportunities to gain gardening knowledge, share your own skills and knowledge, make new friendships, and give back to the community. We hope that this will also teach the younger members of your family about where food really comes from, and how to give back to others.
9. Does it really cost only $10/family to run this garden?
We have been very frugal with the resources that have been intrusted to us (e.g., growing most of our crops from seed instead of buying plants, using hand-crafted and re-purposed structural materials), but there are substantial costs to growing food on the scale that we operate. Besides membership dues, we do receive some monetary and in-kind donations, and the revenue from our biggest single funding stream: hosting a Wednesday night fellowship dinner at FUMC.
9. Can I bring my kids?
Kids are welcome to work alongside their parents. Gardening is, as it should be, a family activity. On our regular workdays, we give our younger members first choice of what to plant and/or harvest, and sometimes we even let them use the watering hose!
10. When are the workdays and times?
Saturday morning workdays start at 9:00 and last until the week's work is done. Weekday morning or evening workdays (when necessary) are loosely organized: usually one family or individual will establish a pattern of harvesting on a particular day/time, and let the rest of us know so we don't duplicate efforts.
11. What missions are being helped by this?
Local food banks and missions groups, as well as individual families who are in need. If you would like to nominate a group or family in need, please contact us at email@example.com.
12. Where will harvested vegetables be stored until they can be distributed? How will the distribution process work?
To get the best benefit from our fresh fruits and vegetables, we try to deliver them as soon as they are harvested. Typically on a Saturday workday, one of the attendees will volunteer to deliver the produce to the Dorcas receiving area. Mid-week harvests are handled at the discretion of the volunteers; sometimes the harvest is delivered to Dorcas (if they're still open), and sometimes it is taken home and refrigerated until being brought back on Saturday to combine with the week's main harvest.
13. When I work in the garden do I need to bring my own tools? What do I need to bring?
We suggest that you bring your favorite gardening tools (if you don’t have any, that’s ok!), water, sunscreen, gardening gloves, and a hat. Hand-held tools are very helpful! Please be sure and wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes.
14. I noticed that FUMC is a primary sponsor of the garden. Do I have to be a church member to participate?
No, membership is open to all, and we welcome anyone in the community to take part in making this a true community garden!
15. Are there other ways that I can help?
Yes! We are always looking for "behind the scenes" people to help plan events, manage paperwork and communications, or even sing and play music at our annual open house! Of course, our biggest "all hands on deck" non-gardening volunteer opportunity is helping out when we host a FUMC Wednesday night fellowship dinner (usually during Lent).
For general information about the garden, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To suggest a garden improvement project, or help out with an existing project, email email@example.com
For comments and suggestions about this website, email firstname.lastname@example.org