2022 Community Garden Info

Why Have a Community Garden

The last few years (2020-2021) have difficult years for everyone. When we originally bought the farm from a friend in 2021, we had intentions to just having place for a larger garden / fruit orchard, recreation and eventually build a house. The growing possibility of food insecurity and food cost inflation led us to reconsider our plans. Instead asked how many families can we help feed? Can we help people to learn who to have their own backyard gardens.

Location: Bennett, NC

Description of Property: 10 acres with 7 acres in pasture / garden.

Season: April, 15th, 2022 through Sept 30th, 2022

Goals for the Farm

  • Teach and encourage backyard gardening
  • Distribute excess seeds for our farm to the greater community, to help encourage others to garden
  • Feed as many families as possible
  • Teach regenerative soil practices and permaculture
  • Use farming as way for the participants to find solace from a crazy. Something relaxing about hands in soil
  • Give others a way to try out the homestead life before you dive in and start a homestead

Current Situation

We have 3 slots for 2022. Each slot is 8 hours of labor per week. A slot can be shared by a couple.

The purpose isn’t to recruit anyone one. We are looking for people who are passionate about growing healthy food, learning about gardening and creating better food security for yourself. If this isn’t something you really want to do deep down inside then this isn’t for you.

How it Works

The garden is a communal meaning that we all share the work to keep plant and manage the crop, then share the harvest. Each weeks harvest is broken down into shares. A share is based on 4 hours of work per week. If you work 8 hours per week then you get 2 shares. A couple working 4 hours per week each would get 2 shares.

Because weeds grow and crops need harvesting whether we are there or not, it is important that anyone participating in the community garden is a consistent participant. We’ll set up a schedule and its important that we all stick to the schedule and keep the garden as a high priority.

It is important to keep in mind that weather can stop activities on the farm if it is severe. Safety is first However, it is important to keep in mind that sometimes it is hot outside (especially mid-July through September) but we still have to stay hydrated and get the job done. You may be working in drizzling rain or hot temperatures. That is part of being outdoors. However, safety is always first.

We can work around planned absences such as vacations. Sometimes things happen in life that pull you away from normal activities (sickness, work trips, etc). It is important to keep in mind that if you aren’t present to help, someone else has to put in extra time to make up for you not being there.

During the growing season, you are expected to be an active part of the farm. That simply means showing up and diving in to keep the crops growing, maintained and harvested. We all need a break from time to time, so we plan in 2 weeks per person during the growing season for vacations, travel, etc.

When it comes to unplanned absences the following rules apply:

1st unplanned absence – consideration given to the nature of the absence. Possible removal from group if the absence was frivolous.

2nd unplanned absence – mostly likely will result in removal from group

3rd unplanned absence – removal from group

The is no expectation for any participant to operate any type of heavy equipment.

With farming there is risk. We can’t guarantee results but we take steps to minimize the risk of crops failing including irrigation and anti-deer, electric fences.

February Homestead Experience

You are strongly encouraged to participate in the 2022 Homestead Experience. This is a great way to get to know each other, spend time on the farm and make sure that participating in the community garden is something that you really, really want to do.


  1. We irrigate using drip irrigation.
  2. Anti-deer electric fences help prevent loss of crops from deer depredation
  3. Regenerative soil practices – we use cover crops to help build soil and minimize the use of synthetic fertilizers.
  4. Low / no-till – we are working to minimize our soil tillage to help continuously improve our soil
  5. integrated pest management – low pesticide / insecticide use. No glyphosates. Plan to install pollinator gardens in the fall to help with pollination and attracting predatory insects
  6. Hugelkultur – we use a hugelkultur mound in one area. The mound in 85′ long.
  7. Permaculture
  8. we are not organic – ask me why sometime, not opposed to it, I just think there are better ways to go

Planned Crops for 2022

Here is the list of crops we plan to grow in 2022

Summer squash

  • Tromboncino Summer Squash
  • Straight neck
  • Patty Pan

Winter squash

  • Candy Roaster
  • Butternut


  • Ping Tung Long Eggplant




  • Tan Cheese
  • Carving



Onions – Egyptian Walking Onions

Sunflowers, Pedrovik

Cantalope (maybe)







blueberries (planned for 2022)

pecans (planned for 2023)

Note: we installed the fruit trees and bushes in 2021/2022 so there probably won’t be any significant crop until 2023 and 2024

Contact Us to discuss the opportunity

Making Horseradish

My wife and I have this love / hate relationship dynamic with horseradish. We only eat a small amount of it, but we have several family members and friends that really like it. We mostly use it in Connie’s homemade cocktail sauce or on roast beef. Here is a chart showing the pros/cons with horseradish. This should help you decide if you want to grow it. My suggestion is to give it a try, just grow it in an area where you can mow around it to keep it contained where you want it. It will outgrow many garden plants, including asparagus – sorry Connie.

One strategy is to have enough plants that you can harvest about every 3 months. That way you can always have fresh horseradish on hand. The spring and summer harvests may not be as strong as the fall harvest but fresh still wins.

Easy to GrowCan be mildly invasive, best to grow it somewhere that you can mow around (easiest way to contain it, in my opinion)
Roots did deep in the soil, which is good to breakup soilIt can be invasive, so you need to make sure it doesn’t spread into unwanted parts of the garden
Very hardyIf it spreads into an unwanted area that you can’t mow then you have to week that area to control it
Deep roots help breakup soils to a depth of 1-2 feetHave to dig deeply to remove the roots for processing. Takes time to eliminate from an area because of the roots you miss when digging the plant up to process
Tastes great in cocktail sauce or on roast beef. Stores about 3 months (refrigerated). Very easy to grow and you can dig it up any time to make more horseradish sauce Limited uses. No way to preserve long term after processing (if there is, please let me know)
Easy to processCan be time consuming to peel smaller roots
Medicinal usesNone
Can be harvested any time in the seasonBest if harvested late in the season for best flavor, but not a requirement. Look for yellow leaves, usually after first frost.
Limited storage life after processingEasy to store in the refrigerator
Plant pulls minerals from deep soilNone
Leaves are mineral laden and make great compost, just leave them where they fallNone
Leaves are great supplement for chickens – https://tinyurl.com/2p85yuuzNone

Processing Horseradish

Step 1 – Wash roots and peel

I washed them outside first (they can be pretty dirty). Then wash them again in the sink. Make sure to remove any dark veins. Use safety glasses and good ventilation to protect your eyes.

Horseradish roots cleaned and ready

Step 2 – Chop the roots up so they fit in the food processor

Step 3 – Pulse in food processor until finely chopped but not mushy

Wait at least 2 minutes before adding the vinegar. The longer you wait the hotter the horseradish will get.

Chopping it up in the food processor

Step 4 – Take one lb of horseradish and add 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of cold water. Add approximately 1 teaspoon of kosher salt (adjust to your taste preference)

Ready to pour into jars

Step 5 – Pour into jars – we use smaller jars because most of the time the amount of horseradish used is fairly small. These are great Christmas presents.

Filling the jars
Ready to go in the refrigerator


Note – we’ve had limited success vacuum sealing the jars. I suspect that we would need to do the vacuum sealing process fairly slowly to avoid making a mess.