An outpouring of Master Gardeners, Master Gardener interns and food bank volunteers and staff showed up last Saturday ready to crank out raised beds for the new Chattanooga Area Food Bank Greenhouse. The goal was to build 20 beds, and by the end of this first day, 16 beds were completed and ready for the growing to begin.
In addition to all the work on the raised beds, there were enough volunteers to also plant seeds in the new greenhouse and to work on the installation of the solar lights. The plants and raised beds will be part of a proposed Demonstration Garden (application in process) through the UT Knoxville to study growth, production, and how the food is used after harvest. The demonstration garden site is located on a former City of Chattanooga dump site, a site that underwent extensive preparation, including soil removal, gravel fill and a two foot new soil overlay in compliance with EPA and City requirements to insure the site’s safety and fitness for its new purpose.
Because the CAFB-MGHC demonstration garden will use raised beds, wheelchair bound and disabled members of the public will have access to and may participate in growing their own produce. The Master Gardeners will document the ease at which the raised beds are used and modify the bed design to better accommodate the disabled.
Plants started in the greenhouse, as well as the greenhouse itself, were also donated by the Master Gardeners of Hamilton County.
The next work day is scheduled for Saturday, February 13. There were enough materials to exceed the original goal by 10 new beds. Keep checking the Events Calendar for this and other volunteer service opportunities.