Home > Serve > Highland UMC Community…

Highland UMC Community Victory Garden

Celebrating our Garden and its Gardeners

Join us on Saturday, October 7 for a celebration at Highland’s Community Victory Garden and the Gardeners who tend it, growing fresh produce for Raleigh’s Plant-A-Row for the Hungry and the Interfaith Food Shuttle.
The program for the night will begin with garden tours from 5:30 to 6:20 PM and then at 6:30 PM we’ll move to the Conference Room for a viewing of Reel South’s "Tommy, the Dreams I Keep Inside," about our very own Tommy, the singing gardener. At approximately 7:15 PM, we'll return to the garden where Tommy will sing two songs and our resident ballroom dance team, Cullen Whitley and Diane Corbin, will dance as Tommy sings. To close the evening, Cullen and Diane will lead the group in Dave Mallett's "Garden Song." Lemonade and cookies will be served.
Everyone's invited. There's no charge. We will accept donations for "seed money" for the garden.

Our Story

A dedicated committee of volunteers established the Highland UMC Community Victory Garden in the spring of 2010 at the corner of Ridge Road and Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh, NC.  Highland’s Micah 6:8 (Social Justice) Team spearheaded this effort.  This garden was established to allow English As Second Language Students, immigrants, church members, community and regional volunteers to participate in and learn about sound and sustainable urban gardening practices.  This garden is open to everyone interested in both learning about and working the soil in an intensive gardening setting.  Work and harvest days are on Saturday mornings.  Highland’s garden is a producing, demonstration and educational plot of raised beds totaling ~ 1100 square feet of space.  Lessons pertaining to the days’ work are taught on site each Saturday morning during the long growing season.

The term "Victory" in the name of Highland’s Community Garden denotes something different to each person that has been touched by this garden ministry.  The outreach and unbelievable support of this garden has exponentially exceeded the goals of its creators.  It has all undeniably been due to the Grace of God and values shared by people from every walk of life, regardless of their nationality, income level, or religious tenets.

Sharing the Harvest
Harvests are shared by vested volunteers, with at least half the harvest allocated for "in need" people and families. Produce is taken to Logan Trading Company to support "Plant a Row for the Hungry".  This produce is then given to the "Interfaith Food Shuttle" for distribution to families in need.  In 2012, Highland’s garden supplied over 3500 pounds of produce.  The Logan Family along with Campbell Road Nursery has been wonderfully generous with their gifts to Highland’s Garden.  Without their assistance, this garden would be much further behind its current position as an, innovative, creative, educational and wonderfully productive urban community garden.

How It Works
Highland’s Garden is 100% supported by donations.  To become vested in the garden, and thus share in the harvest, is a very easy process.  Any person or family simply needs to work in the garden for 10 hours and donate $10.00 annually for materials (the $10.00 fee can be waived according to the needs and circumstances of each person or family).  Major workdays are on Saturday.

Reaching Out Beyond Our Garden Plot
The outreach of Highland’s Garden has been nothing short of phenomenal.  Because of this garden, more than 60 community gardens at churches, schools, private communities, back yards and senior centers are currently being planned or started.  In conjunction with these up and growing gardens, caring parishioners from Minnesota, Missouri and Virginia have embraced our garden and will create their own urban oasis in their home states.  People from every walk of life and religious beliefs have been brought together in an exceptional demonstration of community involvement and good will.  Every day, Highland’s garden is an informal meeting place for friends to sit and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the garden.  Several families have used the garden as a source of solace on their way to sit with very ill family members at Rex Hospital.  One of our garden coordinators has presented over 80 programs about the garden to other Churches, Sunday school and Circle groups, Garden Clubs, Girl and Boy Scout Troops, ESL classes and Pre-Schools.

Highland’s Garden was awarded the 2011 City of Raleigh Human Relations Non-Profit Organization Award for "having a positive impact on human rights in Raleigh."  This award recognizes those "whose activities advance its mission of enhancing human dignity, equal opportunity, mutual respect and harmony among Raleigh residents."  Individuals and families from 32 different countries have participated in Highland’s Garden! Highland’s Garden was also awarded the NC UMC Eastern Conference, Raleigh District "Lay Ministry Of The Year Award" for 2011 and was one of two gardens in Wake County to receive the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s "Yukon Gold Award" for donating over a ton of fresh produce. In 2012, the Garden received a CAC Neighborhood Recognition Award, and a grant from the Rotary Club to improve handicap access to the garden. The Garden is being used as a State-wide model for community gardens.

Start Your Own Community Garden
Highland is happy to share what we have learned about establishing a successful garden with others.  The following are downloadable resources that show you how we do it and help get you started in your own community:

Start your own community garden

Community Garden Guidelines

Community Garden Registration

Community Garden Work Log

Mission Statement:  The Highland UMC Community Victory Garden is established to bear fruit by consolidating positive values within our community, in addition to growing and distributing vegetables, as a place of fellowship, a source of wholesome food, a kindly extraction of resources, increased knowledge of sound gardening practices, cultural exchange, hospitality and witness to our neighbors, to the Glory of God.

Contact Us

Please feel free to contact Highland UMC at any time with any questions or comments about the Garden: church phone: 919-787-4240, Address: 1901 Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC  27607.  Donna Wolcott, Garden secretary, can be reached at 919-389-3198, or by e-mail.