Greenway Farm Garden Club is yielding its first spring crops as a club in Hixson. Local gardening experts have been growing crops there for 15 years, but recently began a club to share their knowledge.
"People can come out and learn to work in a garden with us," said Hixson resident and club president Jack Wheeler, although adding there is a waiting list for one of the 17 garden plots. "When you garden you know where it's grown and what it's exposed to. It's fresher and safer than store-bought produce."
Everyone with a plot grows what they want. Crops in season include onions, chard, cabbage, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, peppers and lettuce, said Wheeler.
"Fresh vegetables have a much better taste," he said. "I have been a gardener my whole life."
He said he likes to eat peas, carrots and broccoli raw right out of the garden.
"In this climate gardening can almost be year-round," said Wheeler. "We will plant turnips, lettuce, squash and collards in late summer and harvest it in the fall up until November or December."
He said the Greenway gardens have two black non-venomous snakes that control the mice population, keeping the crops healthy.
"Most gardeners give away their food," said Wheeler.
Greenway Farm Garden Club secretary Donna Adams, of Hixson, said she likes to grow produce and give it to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen and the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.
"I'm growing tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, beans, corn, lettuce and sunflowers in my garden," said Adams, a master gardener. "I work in my garden after work and on weekends."
Wheeler said he and Adams would be happy to instruct local people on where to plant, how far apart to plant and what types of fertilizers to use if people would like advice.
To inquire about a garden plot or for gardening tips contact Jack Wheeler at 842-8132. Dues per year to be a Greenway Garden Club member are $50, but it costs about $100 in additional seeds and equipment to tend to a garden.