It’s a bittersweet time of year, after just receiving our first hard frost and putting the garden to bed for the winter…but that means our volunteers can finally get a break from harvesting all those cucumbers & tomatoes!

1,664+ Volunteer Hours!

1,140+ Pounds of Produce!

Here is a breakdown of what we’ve harvested & distributed this 2023 growing season:

total # ytd  ITEM
24 Salad Greens
411 Cucumbers
51 Beans
120 Summer Squashes
25 Butternut Squash
30 Corn
368.5 Tomatoes
31 Peppers
14 Basil
1 Parsley
17.5 Tomatillos
10 Garlic
31.25 Okra
3 Elderberry
5.5 Cowpeas
1142.75  <–TOTAL LBs

It was an incredibly productive season, and we (garden volunteers and the plants) thank the beautiful compost generously shared with us by Danny’s Dumpster. If you’re not able to volunteer at the garden or compost at home, The Leicester Library now has a compost collection bin on-site, where you can drop off your kitchen scraps. Danny’s Dumpster picks up local food scraps and ages it into compost that will feed the plants at the Leicester Library Giving Garden, which will in turn feed the local community! Yay to less food waste!

And speaking of less food waste…we also recently set up a Freedge (free fridge) in the Library lobby. Coordinating food distribution with organizations like the Leicester Community Center & Leicester Baptist Church has been rewarding, but we welcome the convenience of a community refrigerator at the Library. This greatly improves the shelf life, food safety, and accessibility of the produce we gift to the community.

We are now a pilot program with the Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council – our process of conceptualizing, installing, and maintaining a fridge will help lay the groundwork for developing local policies that will hopefully make community fridge projects easier for everyone in the future. Shout out to library branch manager Anna and The Friends of Leicester Library for turning this little fridge dream into a reality!

In Summer we celebrated our 2nd annual “Evening in the Garden” event with good food, games, crafts, baby goats, and live bluegrass music from Buncombe Turnpike.

We also hosted the 2nd annual “Dinner & Movie” event in the fall. We had ~140 people come out to enjoy food made by garden volunteers, and luckily the rain waited until after the Super Mario Bros movie finished!

Moving forward into these last months of 2023, we shift our focus to breaking ground on the community orchard, made possible by a Buncombe County Tipping Point Grant. We have been in the planning stages of building this orchard on land generously shared with us by the Leicester Volunteer Fire Department adjacent to the library, thanks to the efforts of permaculture design nut, Justin Holt and our dedicated volunteers.
We look forward to impacting generations to come by establishing an educational fruit & nut orchard for the Leicester community.

Sound like something you’d like to be part of? Click the “Get Involved” tab if you’re interested in volunteering with the Friends of Leicester Library Giving Garden!