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The Donald Dunn Community Garden

In the Spring of 2016 a group of folks from Union Chapel UMC

came up with the idea to start a community garden in order to help feed

those in our community who needed assistance.

After visiting Jeremiah's Garden, an outreach of Holy Spirit Catholic Church,

the group was able to formulate a more informed plan on what to plant

and how to plan the use of the space of the garden.

 

 

The garden is named after Donald Dunn,

a longtime member of Union Chapel and an avid gardener.

The group had hoped the Mr. Dunn would be their mentor throughout this process,

but Mr. Dunn passed away before this plan could be made into a reality.

 

Soil samples were taken from two different plots for the garden.

These were then sent off to Auburn University for analysis.

With the results in hand, the group was able to apply the correct nutrients

for the fall garden, and clover in the empty garden plot for next season.

 

On August 28, 2016 the Donald Dunn Community Garden was

dedicated by members of his immediate family and church members

in attendance. Each family member broke the ground. Landon Hagler

and Ashley Hollingsworth created a sign designating the garden as the

Donald Dunn Community Garden for all to see. Rev. Dearman led

everyone in prayer for this mission.

 

Two plots were plowed at 40 feet x 80 feet each with an additional

20 feet x 20 feet children's garden in September of 2016.

 

On October 8, 2016, we planted our first plants for the fall garden.

Mayor Bobby Herndon was in attendance and prayed over it before

we began. We were joined by members of the Northport Fire

Department, our neighbors. Helping with the planting was Ben

Workman, Kathryn Merritt, Susanne Reeves, Cindy Howell, Scott Paul,

Amy Paul, Emily Paul, Neal Hargle, Tuscaloosa County Agent, Regina

Howell, and myself. We planted onions, peppers, mustard greens,

collards and radishes. Unfortunately we experienced a drought right

after the garden was planted and it didn’t do well at all, even with

volunteers watering and weeding. We only got a few green onions

from the garden and lost everything else.

 

We then shifted our energies to a spring garden and after having a

meeting with the garden committee, decided to utilize both plots for

better chances to feed more people. We decided to make one of the

gardens corn only and the other would have tomatoes, cabbage,

zucchini, Marconi peppers, habanero peppers, bell peppers, okra and

cherry tomatoes. We were blessed with an abundance of rain and

didn’t have to have volunteers to water. We picked approximately

600 ears of corn, 35 lbs. of tomatoes, 5 lbs. of cherry tomatoes, 10

lbs. of Marconi peppers, 3 lbs. of bell peppers, 50 lbs. of zucchini, and

3 lbs. of habanero peppers. These were distributed to the food

pantry at St. Mark United Methodist Church, food pantry at Temporary

Emergency Services, the veterans home in Northport, Green Village

Trailer Park, Deerfield community, Northport Fire Department,

Presbyterian Arms, members of UCUMC, and citizens that we were

made aware of that needed help.

 

We learned many things in these two seasons and will continue to

expand and grow and distribute more and more food to the needy.

There are many exciting plans on how to best utilize the land we have

and the opportunities to enrich our community.

 

Currently there is a Fall crop of turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens,

lettuce, kale, and broccoli which is being nurtured. We are looking

forward to a bountiful early Winter/late Fall harvest!

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Come worship with us!

 

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