We are so excited about Spring this year. Charlotte neighborhoods are surrounded by flowering dogwoods, magnolias, tulips, and azaleas. And the gardens! Oh, the gardens! Our beautiful North Carolina is an embarrassment of gardens and fresh food delights. People are serious about gardening here, but you don’t have to live on a farm to participate.
This Spring why not try growing something new in your little piece of the world… consider it personal growth (See what we did there? LOL)
CREATING AN EDIBLE LANDSCAPE
Whether you have a small balcony or a big space in your yard, you can create an edible landscape. Matt Kokenes of Microfarm Organic Gardens helps urban and suburban dwellers in Charlotte grow their own fresh organic food, harvest rain, and compost. From what to plant, where to plant it, and how to keep it alive, Matt can guide even the greenest gardener.
PRETTY GOOD FOR THE SOUL
Ornamental gardening and landscaping keeps our hands in the soil and produces colorful results for everyone to enjoy. Don’t be afraid to go buy plants. Just make sure to place them where they will thrive. Knowing what level of watering they need makes a big difference.
There are several independently-owned greenhouses and garden centers around town that not only carry vibrant healthy plants, they also are staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks to help you. Here are some of our favorites:
SPREAD THE WEALTH
Honey bees are responsible for about 80% of pollination worldwide, according to Greenpeace and we desperately need more of them. Do your part by growing bee-friendly flowers in a window box or in a planter on your uptown balcony.
Blackhawk Hardware is another great place to get inspiration, ask questions and pick up some beautiful plants. They also carry pretty pots (and just about everything else you need for your home).
Raising chickens takes up less space than you might think! They not only help you live a more sustainable lifestyle, they provide excellent eggs and even eat bugs! Our own Beverly Newell talked about starting her own little flock last fall. Learn about the rules for having chickens in Mecklenburg County here.
Renfrow Hardware in Matthews has live chicks for sale! Their spring chick report has all the info you need to start your own coop. (They also have info on raising bees) Not to mention that visiting this mom-and-pop place is a wonderful kid-friendly outing. They’ve been in business for 120 years and are a one-stop-shop for everything you need for your garden.
In addition to (or in lieu of) growing a few of your own fruits, vegetables and flowers, you can support our local farmers and treat your senses by visiting area farmer’s markets.
Here are a few of our favorite farmer’s markets:
SUPPORTING LOCAL FARMERS
The Appalachian Sustainable Agricultural Project is a non-profit organization based in Asheville that supports farmers. They also have great info on what’s in season and where to find farmer’s markets. They also have farm tours that are absolutely amazing for the whole family! Check out their website and sign up for their newsletter.
Carolina Farm Trust on Charlotte’s east side near the Windsor Park neighborhood is a fully functioning in-town farm and supports local farmers and land conservation efforts.
We invite everyone to get your hands dirty in their own backyard. We do! Check out the whole series we did on gardening featuring 5 Points agents and their backyard adventures!