As we approach the 4th Annual Rise & Shine Chicora Day, Fresh Future Farm and Metanoia are pleased to announce an agreement that will allow Fresh Future Farm to officially take the leadership role of managing Chicora Place Community Garden and provide support for classes to occur at Fresh Future Farm. The Chicora Place Community Garden sits between Orvid and Calvert Streets at 3107 North Carolina Avenue in North Charleston, SC. Both the Community Garden and Fresh Future Farm are located within the Chicora/Cherokee Neighborhood of North Charleston.
The City of North Charleston purchased the Community Garden (a former trailer park) with Greenbelt Tax Funds to create a recreation space in the Chicora-Cherokee community. After receiving a $1,000 grant from the Healthy North Charleston (funded by the ACHIEVE Healthy Communities), Metanoia received permission to turn a portion of the space into a garden in 2011. Germaine Jenkins was a Metanoia Board Member and a Clemson Extension Master Gardener and resident garden volunteer. Metanoia has sponsored programming for the community garden since its 2011 start. This year they have awarded a $23,000 grant to support Fresh Future Farm’s efforts to manage the garden and host quarterly Introduction to Home/Urban Gardening trainings at the farm a few blocks away.
“So many people have lent their time and talents to turning this vacant lot into probably one of the longest running community gardens in Charleston County.” says Jenkins. “Select Health of SC and AmeriHealth Caritas Partnership played a huge part in finishing the space with the addition of a playground in 2013. I have served as Community Garden Manager for all these years and am excited that Fresh Future Farm is officially taking the lead in coordinating volunteers groups and seeking funding to continuously improve the garden. We hope to create one or more paid interns positions to take care of the space between monthly garden workdays on second Saturdays from 9 am - noon. I still have hope that we can find a local company to cover the costs of adding an outdoor fitness center. Fresh food, fresh air and exercise all in one space is a beautiful thing.”
“What we seek to do at Metanoia is invest in the positive assets of our community instead of just focusing on problems,” says Rev. Bill Stanfield, CEO of Metanoia. “The Community Garden and now Fresh Future Farm are major assets for our community as is the leadership, skill and drive of Germaine Jenkins. Therefore, we are thrilled to further align our efforts with Fresh Future Farm’s leadership and we look forward to continuing and deepening a partnership for years to come.”