New Leaf to have workday todayBy W. WINSTON SKINNER
New Leaf Community Garden in Newnan is holding a work day this morning.
Nicole Coleman, coordinator of the community garden project, said volunteers will be working today from 9 a.m.-noon. The garden spot is located on Salbide Avenue behind Newnan Presbyterian Church next to Opal Ann’s Attic.
A volunteer “leveled out our entrance so that we will be able to make the entrance wheelchair accessible,” Coleman said. “We also purchased a used tiller from him, and we now have that ready for use.”
Coleman has been working to get materials for the project donated. “We are making so much progress,” she said.
Volunteers have helped with fence posts, “weed whacking of the entire property, trimming back quite a bit of tree limbs, assembling three wood picnic tables, moving huge rocks from the front of the property to the back, raking all the grass to put into the compost heap and covering the trenches over the water piping,” Coleman said.
“We can now maintain the property much easier,” she explained.
Coleman also said there are “several groups coming to work on a regular basis.”
Coleman said she has been talking periodically with Ryan Koch, who works with Seedleaf, a community garden project in Lexington, Ky. She referred to Koch as “my mentor” and noted his advice was to “try not to do too much too fast.”
Koch told Coleman “it is best to start off small and grow from there,” she said. “It was a light bulb moment for me to realize that I do not have to be at market our first year.”
New Leaf will start in the fall with two furrows, 16 leased plots and one or two compost partnerships. “We will grow from there,” Coleman said. “I believe we have to lay this foundation first.”
Coleman said volunteers are critical to New Leaf. Without them, “we would not be this far along and New Leaf Community Garden would still just be a great idea,” she said. Coleman described New Leaf as “a vision that is now a reality.”
The New Leaf project is one of several community gardens being formed across the county. Senoia has had a community garden for a couple of years.
The Moreland Cultural Arts Alliance is sponsoring the God’s Little Acre garden in Moreland.
“Our garden is growing. We’re going to market with corn this weekend,” Carol Chancey, who works with MCAA, said at an MCAA meeting at the Moreland Mill on Thursday. “We have okra that’s beginning to come in.”
The God’s Little Acre vegetables will be taken to the county produce market at the Asa Powell Expo Center on Temple Avenue today.
There is now running water at the God’s Little Acre site, but plants were watered by hand for weeks. “I’d like to commend all those people who have been out there toting that barge and lifting that bail,” Chancey said.
She also noted rains came at pivotal moments for the Moreland garden. “Through the heat, God gave us some water,” she said.
Chancey also thanked City Councilman Jeff Burgess for loaning a generator for the project earlier this summer. “That’s probably more than it’s been used since I’ve had it,” Burgess said.
MCAA board member Deborah Smith said she had talked with gardener Allen Rhinehart. With a laugh, Smith related that Rhinehart told her “Carol has willed the garden to live.”