The GSTC has established a vegetable garden right up the street from the Center. Utilizing a plot in the community garden on Jekyll Island, we now have a source of locally grown organic produce. Thanks to the help of volunteers and local residents, we are able to provide fresh produce for our turtles in rehabilitation. Among the items grown in the garden include: bok choy, bell peppers, and cucumbers. These vegetables provide important nutrition for our Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas).
The garden is grown with only organic inputs and uses worm castings as a source of fertilizer. Using a vermicomposting system, we take the leftover food wastes from the turtles’ diets and our own lunches and feed them to worms. The worms digest the food material and turn it into worm castings. These castings provide the nutrients that our plants need in the garden. As an added bonus, the excess of worms is fed directly to our Box Turtles as part of their balanced diet.
Communities can be united by a variety of activities, features, or traditions. Community gardens are a great source to unite communities and their citizens. Gardens are often spaces provided by a governing body for use by its citizens.
The American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) attests that
“…community gardening improves people’s quality of life by providing a catalyst for neighborhood and community development, stimulating social interaction, encouraging self-reliance, beautifying neighborhoods, producing nutritious food, reducing family food budgets, conserving resources and creating opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy and education.”
With this list of benefits, it is no doubt that such gardens can be very beneficial to people, their community, and the environment.