Open to Cary Residents ages 55+ only.
To get on the waiting list, call the Cary Senior Center at (919) 469-4081. Garden rentals are renewed every November/December and are rented for a calendar year. Spaces available for rent come in a variety of sizes and costs.
Plot Sizes and Rental Fees as of January 1, 2016
Small Plots - approximately 99 or under sq. ft. -- $20 per season
Medium Plots - approximately 100-199 sq. ft. -- $30 per season
Large Plot - approximately 200+ sq. ft. -- $40 per season
- Cary Senior Center gardens began in 2002 as a Boy Scout initiative. Town of Cary costs were minimal, as the volunteers collected donations and did much of the work. The garden began with nine large beds, six small beds and two raised beds. Currently there are 24 large beds, 11 small beds and two raised beds.
- One space (large bed size) is used by all gardeners as a “Plant a Row for Hunger” project. All food grown in this space is donated to the local Food Bank. Since 2012 more 1,000 pounds of fresh produce have been donated to the food bank.
- Many of the supplies used to build the garden (stones for garden bed outlines) have been re-used, recycled, and re-purposed! Visitors to the garden can see bricks saved from the landfill and used for garden bed outlines and edging pathways, old bed frames used as trellises, and garden implements of all types and even posts and gates made into a grape arbor.
- The Town of Cary supplies water, water hoses and volunteer support from Spruce and other groups.
Row For Hunger
The Row for Hunger is a plot in the Cary Senior Center Community Garden which is dedicated to feeding those who are less fortunate. All plants that are harvested in the Row are sent to the Dorcas Ministries Food Pantry which are then distributed to people who are in need.
Today, in just the United States, more than 15 million households are suffering from hunger or not having the nutritious foods that should be in every diet. That’s around 11.8% of every household in the U.S. Eliminating hunger is one of the 17 Global Goals For Sustainable Development and although this Row is helping locally, it’s a great start to reach that goal.
The overseer of the Row for Hunger is currently Jaya Winemiller. She has organized a permanent fence that has encircled the garden as well as started composting and rain water collection systems for the garden. She is a sophomore at Cary Academy and is working towards her Gold Award for the NC Coastal Pines Girl Scouts. She receives lots of help from the fellow Cary Senior Center Community Garden members who aid with the maintaining of the plants in the garden and delivery of produce.
How you can help
The goal for the Row for Hunger is sustainability. Volunteering your time, especially those high school students that need volunteer hours, is much needed! Other community volunteers who can donate plants or seeds would be appreciated. The garden has Jaya who is overseeing the plot for the summer of 2019, but there will be a need for an overseer in the future and the baton can be tossed sequentially for years to come! Anyone who would like to oversee in the future to contribute to diminishing hunger, please let the Town of Cary know. Things like watering, donating things like compost, mulch, and weed fabric are beneficial towards the progress of the garden as well.
These plants are currently growing (we welcome donations of additional plants):
- Butternut Squash
- Banana Peppers
- Green beans
- Bell Peppers
Why we use compost to grow the plants
Composting is a good way of taking old scraps and putting it to good use. The scraps that are normally thrown away are instead placed inside a composting bin where they decompose into healthy soil. This soil is very enriched which stimulates the growth of the plant. Other benefits of composting include: the plant can retain moisture easier, it suppresses plant diseases and pests, encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria, reduces methane emissions from nearby landfills, and even lowers our carbon footprint!
Why we use rain barrels
Rain barrels are easy to handle and are very beneficial! They prevent erosion and run-off. Rain barrels also save rainwater that can be used towards plants in the future. Also, the rainwater is not contaminated with fertilizers, pesticides, etc.