The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

July 12, 2013

Garden project at Farmers Market moves forward

Anyone visiting the Limestone County Farmers Market this week would have been hard-pressed not to notice a shrinking of available parking spaces just off Green Street.

The cause of the broken pavement and orange-and-white barrels isn’t a sewer or road project, however. The removed chunks of asphalt will soon be replaced by a combination of community gardens with an accompanying irrigation system, greenspace and sidewalks.

The endeavor — spearheaded by Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful and the Spirit of Athens — was made possible through a $20,000 grant from Lowe’s. Workers with the city of Athens conducted the asphalt demolition.

Lynne Hart, executive coordinator of KALB, said the group is working on a sign that will let visitors to the market know about the ongoing work. She described the venture as a “learning process” she hopes the community will be involved with.

The community gardens that will be constructed at the market site will contain fresh fruits and vegetables. Anything grown at the site will be donated to Limestone County Churches Involved to be distributed to indigent members of the community.

“We want the farmers to know we’re not in competition with them,” Hart said.

The gardens will be cultivated with little cultivation at all. Hart said the group would rely on an old German gardening practice known as hugelkultur gardening that is an all-natural method for raised beds.

“This goes back to the way Mother Nature allows forests to take care of themselves. There’s no one out there to water the trees and brush,” she said. “Trees and branches that fall go into the soil, rot and attract the right type of organisms and worms to aerate the soil. When it rains, (the organisms) absorb the water. When there’s drought, they feed the water back into the soil.”

Once the construction for the project is complete, there will be on-street parking available for customers and loading space for vendors. The sidewalks will connect the market to the existing sidewalk on Houston Street, the Coleman Hill neighborhood across the Brownsferry Street bridge and to the large public parking lot on the east side of Madison Street.

When asked if she was worried about the prospect of fruits and vegetables being pilfered, Hart said a fence would be constructed if necessary. She added the fence would be one that would accommodate grape vines, however.

“We know other people who have done this have had problems with (fruit and vegetable thefts),” she said. “But we’re hoping when someone tastes what a real tomato is supposed to taste like and they see where the food is going, that will subside.”

Hart encouraged members of the community who want to know more about the community gardens to contact her via email at or by calling 256-233-8728.

Text Only
Local News


Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

None of the above
     View Results
AP Video
House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee