The Restoration Garden combines the functionality of a community garden with the spiritual aspect of being a space for reflection and prayer.
With a view in the background of the Great Smoky Mountains, the garden is situated in downtown Bryson City (we realize that downtown and Bryson City is an oxymoron but let’s go with it). As we look at the center of the raised bed garden plots you will notice the shape of a cross. There will be pollinator flowers planted there to help restore the local bee population. The other boxes will be filled with vegetables of various kinds. When ripe, the bounty from the garden will be used to give higher quality food to many in our community.
When construction is completed, there will also be a fire pit, with benches and sound system for groups that would like to use the area for gatherings. The back porch of the house will also be tied into the garden to provide additional large group seating and a quiet place to sit and reflect with the garden and Smokies as a beautiful backdrop.
Starting in 2018, Beverly English will be serving as our certified Master Gardener to help maximize the effectiveness of the garden over the short and long term. The local Swain County School system will be sending middle and high school aged kids to the garden to learn techniques in farming. Our local Girl Scout group also helped plant the garden. During the summer of 2017, our student intern Seth Parker was coordinating caring for the garden and distributing the vegetables. Adult groups and individuals will also be a part of the care and feeding of the garden.
The Swain County Health Department, Family Resource Center and Bryson City Food Pantry will also be coordinating with the families they serve to help them receive fresh vegetables for healthier living.