As our Urban areas in Central Kentucky grow, it is important to consider leaving green space for our communities to connect with nature, dig in the dirt, and explore the marvels of cultivating our own food. As many of us rush through our days, busy with work, school, and other appointments, we often forget to stop, connect with nature, and eat a healthy meal. We are not thinking about how our food gets to us. Many of us may never have an opportunity to eat locally grown food or have healthy options available. This can lead to unhealthy patterns and create stress, which can lead to illness. It is vital to our health and the health of our planet to stop and find a better way. Community gardens can be an answer to some of these issues. Community gardens can provide a sanctuary from haste, and allow us to use space in our urban areas to grow food, connect with others, and preserve the land. 

This year Bluegrass Greensource was offered a Community Garden plot at Peace Meal Gardens, a 2.5 acre organic, no till, garden space owned by Bluegrass Community and Technical College. The focus of our garden plot is to determine what we can grow, what partners we will connect with, and how we can gain a better understanding of teaching in this environment.  With these goals in mind, the garden was a huge success. Our most abundant crop of the season has been cherry tomatoes; they came on early and are still going strong. We’ve also had tomatillos, okra, peppers, cucumbers, green beans, basil, eggplant, and corn. In our office we’ve shared in the abundance of cherry tomatoes along with sharing stories of homemade gazpacho, cherry tomato and melon salad, and tomatillo salsa.

All along the way, we have been so grateful to the community partners that helped our garden grow. Luckily we found a community of helpful volunteers, gardening experts, and generous donors to help guide our first office community garden plot. The Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council donated funds to purchase seeds, mulch, and compost. Expert gardener, Jessica Ballard, with Star Flower Service, partnered to help start seeds in a hothouse. Volunteers from Montessori Middle School, the Apple store, and Maxwell Presbyterian Church all donated time and efforts to prepare the garden soil, plant, weed, and help water our space over the summer. BCTC and Peace Meal’s Garden Manager, Rebecca Glasscock, aided the community gardeners with mulch, garden advice, and shared the amazing space. These garden helpers not only joined in this beautiful work and made some great memories, but taught us about incorporating garden education into the use of our space. 

Breaking ground has been wonderful, enjoy the photos, and let’s dream about what we can grow next season…..