Our Story

As of December 31, 2021, the Simple Gifts Community Garden has left the “Miss Jeanne” location on S. Hughes Street.  The New Year’s weekend storm marked the first time in 13 years that the amount of rainfall was not relevant to the gardeners.  Please know what the leadership of the garden is actively seeking a new home where it can grow roots for a long time to come. If you have any ideas that might prove fruitful, please let us know!

The garden was started in 2009 as a community mission of Apex United Methodist Church. From the start, this effort has been inclusive of the ENTIRE community.  Membership was not dependent on one’s address, faith, church, gardening ability, or even ability to pay the $15.00 annual family fee because full and partial scholarships were available.

An army of volunteers built the garden with a collective spirit and energy that could have powered a city for a week.  Garden members shared the bounty of the garden.  Through a communal approach, we worked the soil, fought the weeds, planted, harvested, and shared in the bounty and beauty of the garden. We made friends and shared many celebrations. We lost members of our garden family and wept together. We tested the boundaries of strength and perseverance.  For 13 years, we contributed to 5 differnent food banks, brought flowers to shut-ins, care facilities and schools. We had tomato sandwich nights and watermelon spittin’ contests.

So what’s next?  Help us create the future.  if you know of a potential property or good samaritan that can help us find one, please reach out.  If you’d like to be part of the future garden we are dedicated to building, let us know. If you just want to share some encouraging words or lift our spirits, share the love.

Remember, this may be a fallow season, but there is still lots of growing to be done.  We’re not willing to throw in the trowel yet!

“One of the most delightful things about a
garden is the anticipation it
provides.”

-W.E. Johns

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THE BEGINNING

Thanks to the amazing generosity of Mrs. Jeanne Hack, who graciously allows us to borrow her property, we are able to “live” rent free.  With additional support of many corporate and individual sponsors (please see sponsor page), irrigation pipes were laid to allow us to bring water up from a pond,  electricity was brought on site, and an unused field was plowed.

In an enormous community event that brought hundreds of people to the garden, the place was completely transformed.  In a matter of hours, nearly 300 feet of deer fence were up, 10 raised beds were created and some lettuce was even planted!  After days of hand watering, irrigation was soon in place, which in turn led to more planting.

In each of the first two years, approximately 500 pounds of organic produce was shared with the Western Wake Crisis Ministry.  In year three, the deer fence was moved to allow the size of the garden to double, along with the donation to WWCM.

Our Mission

The mission of Simple Gifts Community Garden is to help us return to the simple and joyful life
which God intended for us. Our garden will accomplish this by:

  • Borrowing the gifts of land, time, talent and resources available to our community
  • Building an organic garden to produce fresh and high quality fruits and vegetables while also building lasting friendships and cooperation within our community
  • Sharing the
    knowledge of sustainable organic gardening practices, healthy food preparation
    and consumption as well as the bounty of our garden with each other and those in
    need within our community.

Our Vision

Simple Gifts Community Garden will feed our hunger as we grow fruits from the ground and feed our souls as we develop fruits of the spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Our garden will be a place of hospitality where all are welcomed and encouraged to share their gifts with others.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Katherine Crowe says:

    I am interested in joining. Do you get to keep any of the crops or is all of it donated?

    1. Yes, Katherine. Everyone who joins the garden and works on each workday gets to take home a portion of that day’s harvest. Some days that’s more than others. We also give to three local food banks regularly.

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