Garden FAQ

Who We Are/What We Do
Simple Gifts Community Garden was started in 2009 as a community mission of Apex UMC. From the start, this effort has been inclusive of the ENTIRE community. Membership is not dependent on one’s address, faith, church, gardening ability, or even ability to pay the $20.00 annual family fee (full and partial scholarships are available). Members of the garden share all the efforts and bounty of the garden. Through a communal approach, we work the soil, plant, harvest, and share in the bounty and beauty of the garden. A portion of our harvest is donated to several local food banks – our thirteen-season total for donations now exceed 26,000 lbs! We normally operate 9 months of the year planting spring, summer and fall gardens which include flowers, herbs and fruits as well as vegetables.
Can I bring children?
Children are always welcome at the garden with a supervising adult. The garden is a great place to work together and explore the wonders of creation. Please make sure your children are prepared with appropriate clothing and closed-toe shoes. Fire ants stings are no fun for anyone, but they have a particularly painful and negative impact on little ones. If you plan to bring any child other than your own, you will need to bring a waiver signed by that child’s parent or guardian.
A word of caution regarding allergies
Please be aware that we do have honeybees at the garden. They are vital to our ecosystem and very rarely sting anyone working in the garden. If you are allergic to bee stings, please be aware of their presence, inform us of your allergy when you arrive and make sure you have any needed medical supplies such as epi-pens on your person at all times.
What will I be doing?
Weeding, watering, prepping beds for planting, maintaining plants, possibly some planting, harvesting, adding chips to paths or turning compost.
What should I bring/wear?
Wear weather-appropriate, comfortable, old clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and closed-toed shoes. (No flip flops, sandals, Crocs etc.) We do have fire ants and shoes and socks are your first line of defense against them as well as misguided shovels and hoes. Wear sunscreen. Bring a hat and work gloves. Bring plenty of drinking water. Our irrigation is pond water – good for the plants, but not so much people. We have gardening tools and hand tools at the garden.
The garden address is 3109 Tingen Rd., Apex. It is located at the very end of Tingen Rd., near the intersection of US 1 and NC 540. Folks can help direct you about parking as you arrive.
We would love for you to join the garden if you’re interested. We ask you to fill out our membership form and waiver. We have copies at the garden that you can fill out when you arrive or you can also access the waiver on our website. Click on the blue link for membership form at the bottom of the page. There are two places for adults to sign on the front of the waiver and you may sign for multiple children in a family on the back of the waiver.
Membership is not necessary for volunteers who just need service hours or are volunteering with a group.
Garden Workdays:
Our normal garden workdays are Saturdays from 8am-noon March through Thanksgiving (beginning or ending earlier or later due to extreme weather, join the garden and receive emails with time changes), Tuesdays from 5-7pm during daylight savings time and Thursdays (done for 2021). If you would like to volunteer with a group, please coordinate your visit with one of our garden leaders (contact info below). If you would like to join the garden, you may do so on any workday. We have membership forms at the garden and will be glad to give you a tour and introduce you to other gardeners. Brochures about the garden are available at the garden or we can get some to you at your request. Once you have joined the garden, you may come to weed, water, dump your compost, pick herbs or flowers or just enjoy the picnic tables during any daylight hours. We only harvest produce on official workdays when the fruits and vegetables are shared among garden members and with our local food banks. After you have joined we hope to see you as often as possible, but we understand that everyone’s schedule is busy. You will share in the harvest and the gifts of friendship and knowledge whenever you visit, so we have no attendance requirements, only incentives!
Please feel free to give me a call if you have any other questions or concerns.
Hope to see you soon,
Anne Harrison