The Twisted Trunk Community Garden is, again, being planted but even this volunteer effort has been impacted by the Coronavirus.
The garden has been around for more than a decade and what comes from the garden has supported non-profits like the Amen House and Elizabeth’s Village.
The garden is a collaboration that includes Georgetown College, Georgetown Baptist, First Christian Church and Green Christians Dinner Church. Homer White, a Georgetown college professor, said the college has allowed the group to use the land and also helped maintain it over the years.
Wilson Dickinson is another one of the organizers. He said there was a brief discussion among the group as to whether the garden could even move forward in this difficult time.
“We were logistically unsure how to move forward,” he said.
White, in particular, supported having the garden this year. In the time of pandemic people are more interested in the source of their food and more people can be food insecure, he said.
Also, he said, “it is very easy to social distance while gardening.”
While the group agreed the garden needed to continue exactly how to proceed is still a work in progress.
In the past, Dickinson said, there was a pretty open policy that allowed people to access the garden. But, he said, as the garden begins to grow the volunteers will devise ways to make sure the food supply is as safe as possible such as carefully washing the produce. Any rules about getting food from the garden will be posted at the site on Jackson Street as they are determined.
The garden in the past has produced cucumbers, radish, tomatoes, even some purple peas but since it’s supported by faith-based organizations Dickinson said it supplies food not only for the body.
“It’s more than just a nice thing to do,” he said. “I think that I consider myself a follower of Jesus, His primary concern was the kingdom of God by that he didn’t mean some other place. Jesus was a community organizer and someone who came from an agricultural community.”
“So, for me the life of faith is completely intertwined in caring for creation and nurturing community. In our fragmented time the community garden gives us that rare space to do both,” he said.
It is as important for the volunteers who grow the food as the people who receive it. “We are not feeding Georgetown with that garden, but it is a school that helps us learn the forgotten art that is slow and intentional and a way that cares for the world,” he said.
White echoed the benefit of the sense of camaraderie that comes from working the soil as a team. Originally, he worried about how much the garden would yield since it was created on land that included the foundations of old houses.
But it has turned out to be very productive. One summer he calculated the donated produce and found that about 300 pounds had gone to local non-profit groups.
Personally, he also has a favorite crop: Trombone, or Tromboncino, Squash.
It grows on a wire cage on vines that can climb five or six feet into the air. The squash itself can grow three or four feet long and resembles a trombone.
“One Tromboncino Squash can last quite a while,” he said with a chuckle.
To learn more about the garden check out the Twisted Trunk page on Facebook.