Bounty Grows in East Side

The Trees NC Summer Programs at East Side is underway and I’m jealous. These youngsters and senior citizens are well ahead of me in the garden. Trees NC sponsors the YES! (Youth Environmental Service) East Side program at East Side Homes on Watkins Street in Asheboro.

Owen George, one of the Trees NC founding members, said the projects include the East Side Community Garden, urban tree care projects, litter walks, stream watch programs, tree nursery management, and a summer mural project.

Grants from Resourceful Communities, Randolph Hospital Community Health Foundation and the Weed N Win Garden Club provided the funds to construct raised garden beds for the East Side Community Garden.

Just take a look at what they’ve grown so far. For an even better look, check out the color pictures on our online home and garden page at

I saw these pictures from Owen and I was certain they had to be from last year. It looks like they are harboring the squash plant that ate New York, for heavens sake! I, on the other hand, just finished planting my first batch of squash and cucumber plants while on vacation.

Owen said great care has been taken to construct raised beds that would compliment the historic old school. The school was built in 1911 with materials donated by Julius Rosenwald of Sears, Roebuck and Co. fame. It was one of 800 schools in North Carolina to be built through volunteer labor and the philanthropy of the retailer.

In recent years, local activist Addy Luther was able to get federal funding to convert the building to an adult living facility. Now 18 apartments house many of the people who once attended the school as children.

The raised beds appear to be producing pretty well. Owen tells me the gardeners are motivated to keep things as organic as possible. It seems to be working. I’m going to have to see if I can contract these guys to come work in my garden. If you want to know more about the Trees NC Summer Projects, you can contact Owen at 625-4384.

Pictured: Trees Asheboro volunteer Vastine Franks holds daily gardening programs at the East Side Community Garden as part of her “Little Eagles” after school program at the Central Boys and Girls Club in Asheboro.

By J.D. Walker
The Courier-Tribune