GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - It’s time for major weed pulling, and dirt turning at the 34th Street Wholistic Community Garden in Gulfport.
With nearly a year of neglect because of COVID-19 and a nasty punch from Hurricane Zeta, there’s a lot of work to be done to get the garden going and growing once again.
“This is the time where most people think this is the only time you can grow, but there are a lot of things that grow right through the winter season here on the Coast,” said director James Franklin.
However, he said spring is a time to reboot, especially this year.
“We’re restarting right now,” said Franklin. “A lot of people that didn’t participate over the winter, they’re getting their beds ready like this, so that they can go ahead and plant for the spring.”
While there is a lot of prepping help, some gardeners, who pay $25 a year for their individually raised boxed garden, have already made their beds. And some are already seeing the fruits of their labor.
Jimmy Foxworth is one of the volunteers who help get the grounds ready for people to rent.
“I don’t know. It does something to the spirit, man,” said Foxworth. “Makes you feel kind of happy, man, and proud, you know? It’s my passion. It’s my peace.”
And his favorite part is simple.
“To see people smiling and things growing,” said Foxworth.
Wendy Johnson owns farmland in Wiggins.
“I want to grow food that’s healthy,” said Johnson. “Food that’s natural, without all the pesticides.”
But before she works her acre-and-a-half farm, she wants to learn the basics in a small box.
And she shares the same story as to why the garden pulls her in.
“It’s a love and a passion for it,” she said. “It’s also something that calms me. It’s a go-to. You have your go-to people, your go-to person. Gardening is a go-to thing for me.”
And the welcome sign, Franklin said, is for everybody.
“We welcome all, whether you are a new gardener, you’re a farmer or you want to be, we welcome all of you to come out here,” said Franklin. “I mean, we don’t know it all. Maybe you can give us some ideas. Just come out a be a part, and keep us moving forward.”
If you’re interested in becoming a member, it costs $25 a year to rent out a small space. For more information, click the link here.