Several Governor Aiken Park residents spent Tuesday afternoon with their hands in the dirt as they prepared the neighborhood’s autumn garden.
After a successful harvest in the spring, the neighborhood decided to continue the garden into the fall with onions, red cabbage, broccoli, collards, lettuce and garlic.
Master Gardener Tom Dix helped several ladies place the plants into the ground on Tuesday. Dix assisted the neighborhood with its spring garden as well as Crosland Park, which just planted its first garden in September. Toole Hill also has a community garden. The City of Aiken is working with these neighborhood associations to make these gardens possible.
Dix said community gardens are a great way to bring neighbors together.
“It builds camaraderie in the neighborhood and gets the community involved,” Dix said.
Resident Rosa Davis was helping out on Tuesday and said gardening is something she enjoys. Davis said she loves picking what she’s helped grow with her own hands and cooking those vegetables.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Davis said. “It gives us something to do.”
Aiken Public Safety’s Cpl. Rick Brown, who patrols the area, watched Governor Aiken Park’s garden as well as the residents’ sense of community grow over the summer.
“This garden produced a lot this year. I watched them water it every morning; they really take care of it,” Brown said. “I think it’s neat.”
Over the summer, the neighborhood garden produced cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, squash, eggplants, peppers, string beans, peas and cabbage. The residents enjoyed the vegetables themselves but also donated some to the Golden Harvest Food Bank, according to Governor Aiken Park Neighborhood Association President Ann Dicks.
“The okra and bell peppers in this garden were some of the best I’ve ever seen,” Dix said, attributing it to Dicks’ green thumb.
Cathy Pope was one of the residents who helped plant the garden Tuesday. She said she didn’t have time to give to the spring garden but is gladly available to help out this fall. She said she feels this is going to be the best garden.
When asked what she looks forward to the most in being involved in this project, Pope quickly answered with a subtle smile.
“Togetherness,” she said.