WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) – One might describe it as a not so typical urban development right on a neighborhood street in West Ashley. Two residents have grown a vegetable garden in the area between the sidewalk and the road, in the public right of way area of Byrnes Downs neighborhood in West Ashley.
The kids say they love it.
Bill Eubanks, a landscape architect, started the vegetable garden about three months ago along with partner Elizabeth Beak. They built it on the verge-area near his property because it was the only space with good sunlight.
"We've got about eight different varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, cantaloupes, it's a huge variety," Eubanks said. "We've had little children come out here, families, elderly people stop by. Everybody comments about how fast it's growing and how great the food is."
He said it was a fight to keep the garden in the public area, getting special permits from the city of Charleston, but it has been a benefit to the community.
Jessica Kohli brings her daughters Laura and Elise to the garden regularly.
"We walk by the garden a couple times a week. I've noticed they'd rather eat a carrot they picked out of the garden than a carrot I picked up at the grocery store so that has been kind of fun to see," Kohli said.
Eubanks invites kids and neighbors to pick and eat veggies from his garden, but he also asks them to take part in the upkeep. A sign in the garden says, "If you take a veggie, pull a weed. Thanks!"
"It is definitely the wave of the future. I think you're going to see a lot more urban agriculture popping up in Charleston. It's actually something that's happening all over the country," Eubanks said.
Eubanks had to get an encroachment permit from the city of Charleston to place the raised garden beds in the verge area between the sidewalk and road.
About two dozen fruit or vegetable varieties are growing in the verge garden.
No fertilizers or pesticides are being used.