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Garner Grows Community Garden: Share The Work, Share The Harvest
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April Showers Bring May Flowers. In the literal sense, this proverb illustrates a lesson every child is taught in elementary school science: that plants need water to grow. But in a more figurative sense, it is a reminder that times of hardship and hard work are eventually followed by better times and rewarding results! Both meanings are appropriate for Garner Grows this month.

Every gardener is thankful for rain to nourish all of our hard work, but since our new garden doesn’t have much growing yet, the rain has been more of a hindrance than a help. It has seemed like every other workday we planned so far this month has been rained out! We are a persisent group, however, and the rain hasn’t stopped us from getting things done!

And boy have we had a lot to get done! This is where the hardship followed by better times come in. One of our biggest chores this month was our first Plant Sale. In order to ensure the success of the sale, we had several workdays where members were hard at work potting up and labeling plants, as well as adding plants to our digital inventory on Square.

I even got a chance to put my hands in the dirt and work with something green; figs and canna flowers. I managed to get a whole truck load potted up! In true black thumb fashion, however, I goofed and potted up some fig cuttings that weren’t quite ready to be planted yet! Oops! Everyone was forgiving of my mistake though, and I learned something new. Hopefully the fledgling figs will survive my error.

Another behind-the-scenes task that most members might not be aware of is advertising. It doesn’t help to have a sale if nobody knows it is happening! This year our advertising efforts were boosted by the fact that the Town of Garner mentioned us on their website, which was a nice bonus. But in addition to that, we have a small team of member volunteers who make up our Marketing Team (thanks Sarah and Caryn!), and they were hard at work making posts to social media and other websites to get the word out.

I am happy to report that all this effort was well rewarded. We had our biggest sale ever, earning twice as much as our previous record-breaking sale day. That was just the in-person sales;  adding in the online pre-sales makes for a phenomenal success. Here’s hoping the next 3 will be just as profitable!

If you would like to get involved in the Plant Sales, we are still in need of volunteers. There are 4 jobs you can volunteer for: Customer Service, Cashier, Online Sale Station, and Setup & Maintenance. Sign Up to Volunteer Here, where you can read more about what each job entails.

I worked the cashier position. Being the black thumb that I am, I don’t feel qualified to talk to people about the plants, and my introverted nature isn’t that great at small talk either. Checking people out was a better fit for me, and I managed to overcome my shyness enough to talk about things I was more comfortable with, like telling people about our website and encouraging them to sign up for membership. We gained 4 new members that day!

Despite all the rain, and the Plant Sale taking up so much of our time, we did still manage to get some work done at the garden as well. We got our first crops in the ground! We planted some “coles”, which when I first saw the word in an email from Tammy, I thought was a typo because I had no idea what that meant, LOL. So I learned a new garden term. Apparently “coles” is the general term used to describe veggies like the broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower that we recently received as a donation from a local gardener. Pam tells me that there is some concern these plants might not survive the foraging deer, however, since we have not had a chance to install our deer fencing yet. So guess what we need to start working on soon?

This post is part of a series of blogs called:

My name is Jette, and I am the last person you would expect to join a community garden! Not only do I have a ‘black thumb’, but I am physically disabled and I am introvert who suffers from social anxiety. So how did Garner Grows become such a big part of my life? This blog series will follow along on my unlikely journey and show community gardening from my unique (and completely unskilled) perspective.