Grower Spotlight: Avondale’s Community Garden

Here at CGFS, we very much enjoy the tradition of Southern Hospitality, and we’re making sure you get to know your neighbor. This month, we’re highlighting the growers at Avondale Community Garden that contribute delicious produce to the market. Get to know them a little better!


Name: Avondale Presbyterian Church’s Community Garden

Favorite thing about summer: Growing, sharing, and eating fresh, tasty local fruits and vegetables particularly heirloom tomatoes… and the feeling of a bit of freedom in the air…time to linger & smell the roses and be grateful for the bounty of the earth.

What is your favorite part about being involved with Common Grounds? Best part about being involved with CGFS for me is the generosity and exuberant spirit of the amazing team that runs this micro business.  And hand in hand with that are the financial benefits to those served by the UMC and the multitude of people across this city that are inspired by their encounters with this group.

Who helps out in your garden? We are excited about our teams of garden waterers, harvesters, and compost makers of all ages.  Most of our volunteers are church members, but we also have a neighborhood volunteer.  We welcome all and have many simple tasks that will get you out in the garden for a peaceful moment or two.  Right now, we have an opening for a tomato fertilizer!

What can we expect to see from your garden this season? This season, we are growing yellow squash, zuchinni, zinnias, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, herbs and many varieties of heirloom tomatoes as well as Better Boy tomatoes grown from seed by one of our members.  Who wouldn’t love a tomato named Mortgage Lifter, Clint Eastwood’s Rowdy Red or Lemon Boy?!

What recipe should everyone be trying this summer? The Heirloom Tomato Salad with Watermelon Salsa from Southern Living Magazine  

4 lbs assorted heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
2 small cucumbers sliced
1 small red onion sliced
Fresh basil to taste
Gently toss and top with salsa and fresh basil
For Salsa:
1 cup diced unpeeled nectarine
2 jalapeno peppers seeded and minced
1TBSP sugar
3 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 tsp orange zest
2 tsp fresh ginger
2 cups diced watermelon
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup diced red onion
Stir together first 6 salsa ingredients and let stand for 15 minutes. Add watermelon and next two ingredients and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately. Can chill for up to 24 hours.

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