Pitt Fit Community Garden

Pitt County is a diversified employment and service center for eastern North Carolina. It is one of the fastest-growing regions in the state. Pitt County Government strives to enhance the health of residents. It also promotes the safety and well-being of the community. It provides quality services in a friendly, efficient, and cost-effective manner.

The County has been operational since 1760. It has built its legacy for 250 years. Residents can experience fond memories of their rich heritage.

The Community Garden is adjacent to the Alice F. Keene District Park and lies opposite the East Carolina Village, Farm Museum, and Leroy James Farmers Market, and serves as an example of Pitt County partnership in action.

History

Pitt County was named after William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham. William Pitt was born in London, England and became an English statesman and orator. He studied at Oxford University. In 1731, Pitt joined the army. Pitt led the young “Patriot” Whigs. In 1756 he became secretary of state. He spoke in favor of freedom in the British Colonial government. When established in 1760, Pitt County was then under British Colonial rule. Prior to 1760, there existed one large county then named Beaufort, which would eventually be split into five smaller counties. Pitt County is one of those smaller five counties. And, since 1970 Pitt County has operated under their own county government. 

Making Pitt Fit Community Garden

A community garden is a piece of land for community members to grow fruits and vegetables. These tiny plots of land are sometimes free. Other times they are leased to gardeners for a small fee. This is to help with the maintenance and costs of running the garden. Community gardening is not a new idea. It has gained popularity throughout the United States.

Making Pitt Fit Community Garden was initiated by residents within Pitt County. Its vision proclaimed the health benefits of healthier eating and gardening and was supported with a goal or focus on sharing resources amongst this community. Not only to make gardening inexpensive and available to all interested but also to make it a fun and prosperous investment of time.

The Community Garden is adjacent to the Alice F. Keene District Park and lies opposite the East Carolina Village, Farm Museum, and Leroy James Farmers Market, and serves as an example of Pitt County partnership in action.

Geography

Pitt County covers 651.58 square miles with the nearest beach being Atlantic Beach, only 90 miles away. It is approximately 78 miles from the state capital, Raleigh, NC. The northwestern portion of the county houses it’s highest point, which is approximately 126.4 feet above sea level.

Population & Housing

The United States Census Bureau lists the total population of Pitt County as 179,042. Approximately 258 people live in each square mile of Pitt County. The County’s largest city is Greenville. It has a population of 92,156. A total of 79,227 housing units are in Pitt County.

Gardening

For a community garden to be sustainable, each gardener needs to perform their duties. Volunteers from the community can also participate. Gardeners can volunteer for more than one task. They work for more than 5 hours. The garden’s success is limited by the community’s willingness to work together. The tasks are made to determine which jobs best suit an individual’s interests and abilities. Some descriptions have multiple jobs within them. You are not required to do all the jobs listed, only the ones you feel most capable of performing and completing. The gardening jobs available include:

1. Community Outreach: Maintain garden bulletin board. Keep boards supplied with soil test kits, applications, and brochures. Communicate with gardeners through email and phone calls. Do mailings about garden news, meetings, and events. Work with the events committee to publicize garden workshops. Work on other events for the community at large.

2. Composting: Manage the compost bins and the vermicomposting tubs. Generate compost for the garden and shred piles of debris. Facilitate and perhaps lead a composting workshop in order to educate and enlighten the public in attendance. All gardeners should participate in at least one compost workday. This is to share in this important task and learn how the process works.

3. Events: Coordinate regular and special garden events. These include garden meetings, work parties, seasonal events, potlucks, and educational workshops.

4. Garden Mentors: Participate in the children’s garden program. Help to provide information and support to other gardeners. Help plant and maintain Children’s Garden beds. Mentors receive additional training.

5. Maintenance: Maintain the garden’s common areas including orchards. Renovate abandoned plots, mulch common pathways and remove trash. Organize deck boxes, keep the sheds and maintain tools, equipment and hoses.

6. Monitors: Keep track of plots that appear to be weedy, insect-infested, or rotting produce. Notify the garden manager and communicate with plot holders. This is part of the notification process

7. Mowing: Mow and string trim the grassy areas inside the garden. Also, mow around the exterior perimeter of the garden.

8. Orientation: Provide an orientation tour for new gardeners. Follow up with orientation surveys and report results.

9. Surplus Produce: Harvest and deliver surplus produce from the Children’s Garden. Also vacation gardener’s plots to local soup kitchens.

Cost Of Living

As per the Cost of Living Index for 2019, the cost of living for Greenville is 87.6% (or 12.4% below) the national average. A break down in goods and services for the cost of living compared to the national average is as follows:

· Food & Groceries: 91.9%

· Housing (Homeowner): 64.8% Median Home Cost: $121,200

· Utilities: 101.1%

· Transportation: 84.0%

· Health: 116.3%

· Miscellaneous: 102.0% (includes other services, entertainment, and repairs)

Weather

Pitt County has a relatively mild climate. The area experiences all four seasons each year. In the summer, the average Pitt County temperature is 84 degrees Fahrenheit. The average winter temperature is 44 degrees Fahrenheit. Each year, the area experiences an average of 48.24 inches of rainfall. Each year, the growing season lasts an average of 215 days.

The Making Pitt Fit Community garden provides a great opportunity for the community. Residents are able to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It increases their levels of physical activity. It also increases the consumption of fruits and vegetables through garden activities. A children’s program is also a part of the garden as well, with a local food bank the recipient of any surplus food from this garden as a donation. It is a great initiative to keep the community engaged.