Church Hill Senior Center Gardeners

Church Hill Senior Center Garden volunteers from left to right are Mike Christian, Dave Calvert, Christine Barger, Jane Vaughan, and Louise Travaglini.

CHURCH HILL—The Church Hill Senior Center Garden is now in its seventh growing season.

Since 2011, the garden has participated in Kingsport’s Tomato Fest to help spread gardening know-how about growing heirloom tomatoes.

The term “heirloom” means that the plant will grow true from seed and these varieties have been passed down from generation to generation.

The Church Hill garden always grows a large variety of tomatoes – this year they are harvesting 18 different types.

Though not always “pretty”, these juicy, flavorful tomatoes are always a big hit at the Senior Center where they are utilized in their lunch program and at the Food Pantry run by Of One Accord ministry.

By sharing some of the produce at Tomato Fest, the garden hopes to bring the joy of growing (and especially eating!) these nutritious plants in one’s own backyard.

Commercial growers are often unable to grow the large, juicy heirloom tomatoes.

They need to have a uniform variety that is ready to harvest at one time and sturdy enough to ship without splitting and breaking.

But if you are growing in your own yard, the first taste of these delectable heirlooms will change your mind forever about the true taste of summer tomatoes.

The gardeners at the Church Hill Senior garden hope that everyone gets to experience the taste of a true home grown tomato.

Despite the hot, dry growing season, the gardeners at Church Hill continue to strive to provide a wide variety of vegetables to the seniors and those in need. Always growing without pesticides or commercial fertilizers, the garden has already produced over 3,000 pounds of produce to share with the community.

The garden is approaching a special production number – watch for future news about their milestone later this year.

The Church Hill Senior Center gardeners who consist of members of the Northeast Tennessee Master Gardeners and local gardening enthusiasts, would like to congratulate the Hawkins County Master Gardeners on their inaugural garden and their two ribbons at Tomato Fest.

It is great to see another garden project in Hawkins County benefitting the community.