CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Spring is here, which means gardens will be sprouting up throughout the city soon.
What You Need To Know
- Spring officially started Sunday
- Gardens will start sprouting across the city
- Two Charlotte gardeners are encouraging others to take up gardening
The timing couldn’t be better as folks look for easier access to healthy food choices that don’t include spending money on pricey gas to grocery stores.
Gardeners Austin and Joey Pellegrin-Webb are showing people how to get started, even if they don’t have a lot of space to work with.
The couple lives in the city and say they only have an eighth of an acre, but they utilize every space.
This includes growing plants against fences and trellises so they grow upward.
They now share their interest in gardening with others and hand out veggies from their garden to their neighbors.
“We’ve had more opportunities with growing vegetables, taking them to our neighbors, just dropping things off on their porch and saying 'we can’t eat all of this' and it brings people together,” Austin Pellegrin-Webb said.
They say gardening is fun but can also play a vital role in access to fresh produce, especially as spring rolls around.
“People want connection to good food, and this is the best way to do it,” Austin Pellegrin-Webb said. "You can nourish your body, it’s great for your own mental health.”
According to the advocacy group Sustain Charlotte, about 15% of people in Mecklenburg County residents live in a food desert, which is higher than both the state and national averages.
Instead of driving to the grocery store and spending money on gas, the couple says they can just walk outside and pick it.
“It’s a wellspring of fresh produce, which we don’t even get at the grocery store,” Austin Pellegrin-Webb said.
They want to spread the art of gardening so others can have that opportunity too.
If you’re looking for inspiration to start your own garden, you can actually see Joey and Austin’s garden on the annual Art in the Garden Tour hosted by the Charlotte Garden Club. The tour takes place May 14 and 15.
You can buy tickets starting April 1.