The Stone Mountain Community Garden is a beautiful space located on an old ball field. It is a partnership between the city of Stone Mountain and UGA Extension Master Gardeners. When you first visit you will be impressed with the number of plots (50) and how well organized and maintained the raised bed plots are. One master gardener site coordinator, Averil Bonsall, indicated that they have public demand for more but they are trying to keep it a manageable size. You will also notice the wildlife! A bee hive ensures that bees are present and they are busily flying around collecting nectar and pollinating the gardens which are full of vegetables, fruits and flowers. Birds and pollinators are also attracted by the new meadow garden on the perimeter of the property and the sunflowers.
The garden has demonstration areas where gardeners can learn how to grow herbs and fruits. A demonstration compost bin system is on the property and is used by the gardeners. There is a 3,000 square foot pantry garden where everyone pitches in with the chores and the food is donated to the local food pantry in Stone Mountain.
To be part of the garden each grower pays a small annual fee and commits to provide two four-hour time periods of labor in the community areas of the garden. This can be mowing the grass,working in the pantry garden, or weeding the demonstration areas. As with all gardens, there is always a lot to be done.
The usual tomatoes, beans, and squash, are present as well as some unusual choices. There is a large asparagus bed and a plot of dwarf okra. Tomatoes are grown in hay bales here and there is an ornate trellis for growing pole beans. The growers really do try new things and learn from each other. For a brief walking tour of the garden visit A Walk Through the Stone Mountain Community Garden at VFW Park.
“The garden is a testament to the cultural richness and diversity of the nearby community. Everyone works together and learns from each other. They have put the ‘Community’ back into community gardening.” – Gary Peiffer, DeKalb UGA Extension Agent