The Wayne Community Garden is located at the Wayne City Park, just off Railroad Avenue. This project began as a mini-grant funded by Try This WV, and has been sustained through donations and financial support from the Town of Wayne, Grow Appalachia, WVU Extension, and community members, businesses, and organizations. Its purpose is to serve folks in the area by promoting access to nutritious food, garden how-to opportunities for new and seasoned gardeners alike, a space for a recovery support group for adults, and educational programs for children. It is always unlocked and open for anyone to venture in and harvest as they’d like.

A variety of crops are growing at the garden this year, including blue lake beans, eggplants, celery, peppers, onions, cucamelons, tomatoes, corn, squash, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, strawberries, herbs, and flowers. In the next few weeks, the following will also be planted: loofa plants, pole beans, potatoes, greens, carrots, turnips, and radishes. 

The location of the garden is surrounded by about 300 folks who live near the space. While it is difficult to know how many people have come and harvested what from the garden, we have noted a number of missing crops each time we return to the garden. A few of the most-picked items are strawberries, onions, and herbs. Last year the corn stalks were picked clean, and we were excited each time we found the cucumber bed empty. Over the past year, our team and its supporters have developed relationships with the garden’s neighbors, and we are always inviting more folks to come into the garden who walk by. This program also participates in local festivals and activities to increase awareness of the garden to community members. 

The Wayne Community Garden has been focused on completing two major projects this year: building and planting a Three Sisters Garden, and building a sturdy shed to store equipment and materials inside. The Three Sisters Garden is underway, with cinder blocks being used to frame the bed. The corn has been seeded and is sprouting, and pole beans will be planted near the end of June to begin to climb up her older sister. Squash will be planted last to provide covering and nutrients to her two older sisters. 

As for the shed, our hopes are to complete it this summer. The last of the mini-grant funds were deposited at 84 Lumber in order to purchase materials. The estimated cost of this project has since increased, and we are short $220 to order remaining materials. The purpose of this shed is to store necessary equipment and materials for the garden. As of now, the items needed on a given day must be hauled to and from the garden. The Wayne Community Garden is asking for donations from community members who value the sustainability of this program. If you are interested in placing a donation, you can make a payment directly to 84 Lumber in Ashland – 606-329-0084 on the account for Park Ferguson/Leah Fitzgerald/Jon Conley. We are appreciative of any form of support, and look forward to continuing to serve the Wayne community through this space.

By: Leah Fitzgerald