Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The City recently expanded the community garden beds at Unity Park. Garden Coordinator David Horn designated the new beds as “You Pick” beds that will offer fresh produce for residents to pick for free. That’s right, free produce.

“The You Pick beds are a way to provide fresh vegetables for the community, encourage healthy eating, and hopefully get people interested in gardening,” Horn said. “All we ask is that you take what you can use today and leave some for others.”

The You Pick beds are located near the garden shed and designated as such. Garden beds inside the fenced area are private beds that have been rented for the season by residents.

Last week, Horn did a demonstration on the best way to pick lettuce so the plants can produce all season. Watch the video at

The Unity Park Community Gardens are located on College Avenue at 1419 College Avenue near Downtown Lenoir. For several years, the City maintained another community garden on Beall Street. In recent years, community interest in the Beall Street garden declined. Horn and City staff decided to move the Beall Street beds to Unity Park to consolidate resources and provide more support for people who want to use the beds. Several N.C. Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners volunteer at the Unity Park Community Gardens and provide training and support.

“We’ll have a great variety of vegetables for people in the You Pick beds,” Horn said. “We’re growing spinach, lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, arugula, squash, beans, cucumber, pea, kohlrabi, lettuce, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers, and herbs.”

The Community Garden is a partnership project between the City of Lenoir, Caldwell Memorial Foundation, and NC Cooperative Extension. Residents can rent garden beds during season. Volunteers, Master Gardeners, and Ag Extenion Agents schedule work days and training days to help gardeners make their thumbs as green as possible!

For more information or to reserve beds, contact the Caldwell Agricultural Extension Office at 828-757-1290.

“Take what you can use today. Leave some for others.” That’s Garden Coordinator David Horn’s motto for the You Pick Beds at the Unity Park Community Gardens. Horn recently gave a demonstration on the best way to pick lettuce so the plants can produce all season. Read more at

More information about the Community Gardens is available online at


On the city website at

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