The Giving Garden
The Giving Garden is the major component of the Tackling Hunger and Nutrition project begun in June, 2009 by the Rotary Club of Smith Mountain Lake to address the hunger and nutrition needs of persons in need living in areas around the lake. Originally designed to provide fresh organic produce to the local food pantry at Lake Christian Ministries, the garden is now a collaborative partnership with the Rotary Club of Smith Mountain Lake, Booker T. Washington National Monument and Franklin County Master Gardeners.
The Giving Garden serves as an educational site for Master Gardeners and interested community residents on principles and practices of organic square foot gardening designed to maximize the amount of
Booker T Washington National Monument Heirloom Garden
produce grown in forty-four raised beds of various sizes- the equivalent of 1/16th of an acre in size with over 2500 pounds of fruits and vegetables being sent to the food pantry in each of the last three years.
The Giving Garden is also used as an educational site for children from various schools, summer camps, scout troops, as well as the Good Neighbors program, and has included participation from Franklin County High School Horticulture students in past years. In addition, it serves as a model and resource for other developing Giving Garden projects within the community.
(To view more pictures of the gardens click on our Facebook link at the foot of the page.)
The Heirloom Garden at Booker T Washington has been a project of the Franklin County Master Gardeners for over ten years. The garden is on the grounds of the former Burroughs plantation(currently the Booker T. Washington National Monument) where Booker lived as a slave and was emancipated. A team of Master Gardeners help maintain the garden using historically correct methods, plant and harvest heirloom vegetables that would have been grown and eaten during the civil war, and help with education regarding the slave diet and why certain vegetables were grown. This garden is also a Giving Garden as most of the produce is donated to local food pantries.