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Jonesborough gardeners unite to feed the hungry in the area

Marianne Huff, left, and Deb Burger gather fresh beets.
Marianne Huff, left, and Deb Burger gather fresh carrots.

By LISA WHALEY

Executive Editor

[email protected]

Planted in faith, two 4-foot-by-8-foot plots in Jonesborough’s new Community Garden are already starting to bear fruit for families in the region.

“We began with spinach, lettuce, beets, kale and carrots,” said Deb Burger, as she pulled dusty ruby globes from the soil. “Last week, we started harvesting the beets.”

Burger operates downtown’s Yarn Asylum and is a member of Jonesborough Presbyterian Church.

She, along with fellow parishioners Marianne Huff and Carol Jernigan, decided to take their faith outside the church walls this spring when word went out about plots available at the new garden.

They already knew about the need for food for some of the area’s struggling families. Their church – as well as many others in the region – was already actively involved in the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Alliance Food Bank.

But Burger, Huff and Jernigan also knew that truly fresh produce for the food pantry was often hard to come by.

So they paid the $20 rental per plot – and began their gardens designed to provide fresh lettuce, spinach, beets, peppers and other produce for area families who might be having trouble making ends meet.

So far, the trio — with occasional help from other church members — has been able to share lettuce, carrots, beets and more with the pantry.

They decided to keep variety to a handful of favorites, Huff said, so as to provide each family with the quantity to enjoy the fresh feast.

Families appear to be delighted with the addition.

“One lady said she hadn’t