Mano al Hermano’s Roanoke Island Community Garden was founded with the goals of increasing access to fresh produce and creating opportunities for community interaction and engagement. The garden currently has 13 gardeners with their own individual garden plots, as well as several community berry and fruit plots, which are tended by multiple gardeners. Community garden members each tend their own individual plots, and are responsible for planting, weeding, watering and harvesting the produce from their plot for their own families, as well as for donations.
Mano al Hermano also sponsors a Kid’s Garden Club, which has a vegetable and berry plot, as well as a Pollinator Garden. There the children learn about how to garden, try out new types of vegetables, and learn about the animals that inhabit their garden.
As one way of meeting their goals and giving back to the local community, the gardeners (including child gardeners) donate fresh produce to local food banks, such as the Beach Food Pantry and Roanoke Island Food Bank, as well as local families and friends. In 2018 gardeners donated more than 200 pounds of fresh produce, in addition to canned jams and pickles, from their gardens.
Anyone interested in becoming a community gardener in 2019 can visit manoalhermano.org for more information and to fill out an application. Gardeners are asked to commit to tending their gardens, harvesting produce in a timely manner and donating as much produce as possible.