By Allison Young
Not far from the Edgar Allen Poe Library on Sullivan’s Island, bright young leaves are starting to sprout. In early April Sullivan’s Island local Carlsen Huey took the “nice idea to have a community garden” to mayor Carl Smith and after approval at a planning meeting, choose the site for a community garden in front of Battery Gadsden. Once it was approved, Huey and several islanders began planting.
Generosity became the root for this community garden. The town of Sullivan’s Island provided the land, water, and a modest budget to begin the garden, but donations have allowed the garden to grow into a community effort. Other donations were accepted as well, from the wooden boards that Huey assembled into the boxes for the plants to a Bobcat loader to fill them in with soil. Seeds, tools, and a wheelbarrow were also given to the project. In addition to the donations, volunteers have contributed to planting and maintaining the garden.
Because of the garden’s late start, Huey was in a hurry to sow the garden’s seeds. “Here on Sullivan’s Island, you could plant tomatoes in March – and here we are in May!” he said. So this season’s crop may not be neatly organized in the boxes, but he hopes it will be an abundant harvest from which the residents of Sullivan’s Island can benefit. “At this point, I’m still more interested in getting the garden in then worrying about how we’ll divvy up the food.”
Huey carefully chose vegetables and flowers that could still be planted at this late date. In the months to come, locals can look forward to tomatoes, onions, zucchini, crookneck squash, okra, lima and pole beans, a variety of peppers, corn, eggplants, cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupes, basil, and rosemary, as well as marigolds and sunflowers.
According to Huey, there are still three vacant beds. “I’d love to have some more flowers to plant,” Huey said. He’s also already thinking ahead in planning a fall and winter garden. There are still opportunities to participate or voice any questions or interest in the community garden.