The Harvest of Hope Community Garden, 130 Charlemont Street, Kingsport, will be added to the Quilt Trail at a ceremony to take place at the garden on Wednesday Feb. 4, 4:00pm, with the installation of a 4-foot by 4-foot Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt block.
Grandmother’s Flower Garden will be one of the 17 quilt blocks that currently make up a walking trail through interesting and historic places of downtown Kingsport. Supported by the Appalachian RC&D Council, downtown businesses, First Frontier Quilters, Kingsport Community Foundation and Kingsport Cultural Arts, quilt blocks were was done by volunteer artists over a year-long period. This particular quilt block was spearheaded by Jill Taylor Parsons and patterned after a soft and intricately pieced celadon quilt that her grandmother, Pauline Joyce Taylor, sewed in the 1950s. (To preview the quilt block go to: http://www.arcd.org/quilttrail/index.php?page=2&id=215.)
“Grandma was an avid gardener, so this is an ideal place for her quilt square,” according to Parsons. “She was involved with starting the Farmer's Market in downtown Kingpsort when it was held in the Presbyterian church parking lot. She was the treasurer for them for many years. When we were in elementary school, my sister and I used to sell vegetables out of the back of Pa and Grandma's truck. My Dad still goes to the farmer's market when they are open at least once a week to support them.“
The pattern’s namesake, perhaps inspired by the orderly rows of brightly colored hexagonal shapes, was a natural connection to the Harvest of Hope Garden. The Garden started in 2011 with 30 raised beds on land donated by First Presbyterian Church. Its mission is to provide fresh food as a means to help end hunger in the community and benefit anyone who wants to garden. According to Master Garden and the Harvest of Hope’s current president, Doug Hilton, gardeners can grow whatever they would like, but a portion of everyone’s harvests should go to a food pantry or soup kitchen in the area.
Harvest of Hope’s 2015 season will kickoff this upcoming Saturday with a class on Vegetable Gardening 101, with several speakers and sessions, including Dr. Natalie Bumgarner, UT Extension Specialist. The Harvest of Hope Garden is a project of the United Way of Greater Kingsport, details online at: http://www.uwaykpt.org/harvest-hope-community-garden.
The Quilt Trail in northeast Tennessee consists of 120 sites and is coordinated by the Appalachian RC&D Council (arcd.org), a 501C3 nonprofit whose mission is to improve rural economy while conserving nature resources. A map and details about visiting sites along the Trail can be found at www.QuiltTrail.org.