Meals on Wheels is growing a garden


Meals on Wheels, a program of the Haywood County Department of Social Services, recently named Margie MacDonald to coordinate its first community garden, which will grow produce to help defray food costs and provide fresher food for the MOW recepients, who receive a hot, nutritious meal five days per week. Check out this update from Margie on how the project is going:

It all began with a thought, as so many wonderful projects do!  What if we could grow fresh vegetables for our local Haywood County Meals on Wheels program to provide locally grown produce, help offset the cost of food purchases, and provide a volunteer opportunity for folks in our community to assist?


The entire plan has come together and is now growing a nice little patch of potatoes, and a few onions. The Hunter community garden land is generously donated by the owners for the use as a community garden, and is managed by The Cooperative Extension Service.  The Cooperative Extension service provides use of gardening tools, and works throughout the growing season to keep the area watered, productive, neat and clean. 


Our garden patch had not been farmed for some time.  Joe Owens was the first to arrive to offer his services. Joe loaded up his huge tractor plow and hauled it to the garden.  Afterwards, volunteer Kyle Miller, with Haywood Central High School, came by and created rows for our potatoes.

Seed potatoes were donated by Meals on Wheels Volunteer, Harold Medford.  It appears that almost every seed potato planted has germinated into a healthy plant, and with luck and good gardening, each will yield many potatoes!  Members of Haywood County Board of Realtors Community Service Committee (Tom Tracey, Beth Brown, Lee Starnes, Randy Siske, and Ellis Morris) cut and planted seed potatoes.  A few weeks later, they returned to plant a couple of rows of onions, which were donated by Cline Bradley and Haywood Ace Hardware. 


As the potatoes begin to sprout and grow, so do the weeds in the garden.  Weeding, hilling up dirt around the potatoes has been tackled by volunteers from Haywood Vocational Opportunities, Waynesville First Methodist Church members (Bill Skelton, Jean Skelton, Ed and Linda McFarland) and Haywood County Board of Realtors Community Service Committee. Kind mention must also be given to Brenda Sloan who has worked in the garden because of her love of gardening and commitment to doing something of value for the senior citizens of Haywood County. 


Funding for the Meals on Wheels Community Garden is provided by The Home Depot Community Grant.  If you would like to volunteer for the garden, please contact Garden Coordinator Margie MacDonald at 828-734-9265. To volunteer or find out more about Meals on Wheels, contact Jeanne Naber at 828-356-2442.