Flowers Raise Funds for Garden Vegetables


September 19, 2016

The volunteers at Rice Street Community Garden raise perennials to attract bees and other pollinators, but recently those same flowers did double duty by helping pay for the vegetables grown in the garden.

Rice Street Community Garden, located in downtown Brevard on land owned by St. Philip's Episcopal Church across from the Farmers' Market, is staffed entirely by volunteers from throughout Brevard and Transylvania County.

The volunteers donate the garden's fresh organic produce to Bread of Life and Sharing House. In the five years since ground was first broken, the garden has produced more than $15,200 worth of produce for the soup kitchen and food bank.

On Sept. 3, coordinating with the Farm Day at the Farmers' Market, the garden's volunteers created 32 vases of blooms and held a flower sale.

Actually, people who strolled over to the garden to find out about the bouquets were simply asked to make a donation in exchange for a vase.

The vases were recycled jars donated by volunteers and friends of the garden, and the bouquets were picked and arranged by Jayne Field, Sandy Harrington, Martha Mayberry, Milbrey Raney and Jacquelyn Rogow the afternoon before the Saturday event.

Anne Oliver and Norah Davis joined the group on Saturday, and all wore the garden's T-shirt with its distinctive logo featuring a trowel with a carrot top.

Jayne Field, organizer of the event, said, "People were incredibly generous. We made more by asking for donations than we ever would have if we'd sold the flowers. Not only that, we gained 10 more people who signed up as potential volunteers, plus we sold a T-shirt."

The donations help pay for the garden's annual operating expenses, which include soil amendments, seeds, seedlings, water usage, straw, garden supplies and mowing of the grassy areas around the garden.

This season, the water bills from the city were especially high due to the spring drought.

The garden's crop manager, Bill Chandler, said, "Unfortunately, the high water bills were to be expected this year. We'll weather this storm, too. That's the farmer's life."

The money made from the flower event - more than $252 - will cover those water bills and then some.

To find out how to help the garden, visit http://www.facebook/ricestreetcommunitygarden or call 877-4070.


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