West Broad Market Garden

Our Garden

We avoid all inorganic fertilizers and pesticides as well as genetically modified seed. We keep our farm’s soil alive and fertile by plowing down soil building cover crops, compost, lime, and commercially available organic fertilizer. For pest and disease management, we implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, which means that we utilize strategies to avoid or solve pest problems before they begin.

Our methods include early detection of pets and disease, use of disease-resistant plant varieties, biological control, and bug-excluding row covers, if necessary. If, and only if, if a problem reaches the economic injury level, where the pest problem would cause enough damage for us to lose money, then we consider use of the safest pesticides available. Learn more about eating from CNG gardens.

The West Broad Market Garden, as a Certified Naturally Grown agricultural site, utilizes the latest in sustainable growing practices.

The History

The West Broad neighborhood was established around the community’s historic African American schools. As home to several of Athens’ first African American churches, schools, and institutions, the neighborhood has been important to the community for nearly 150 years. The physical and cultural centerpiece of the neighborhood is the now-vacant West Broad School. In the early 1900s, the school’s principal established garden plots for students to grow food for their families and offered evening courses for adults in cooking and nutrition.

Chalk portrait of West Broad School Principal

Through the West Broad Market Garden, Athens Land Trust hopes to continue the agricultural legacy of the site and to celebrate the history of community empowerment through food. In February 2012, with the support of community leaders, the Clarke County School District allowed ALT to use the West Broad School site to create the West Broad Garden, a half-acre, production-oriented urban farm. The garden, as a Certified Naturally Grown agricultural site, utilizes sustainable growing practices. We avoid all inorganic fertilizers and pesticides as well as genetically modified seed. The West Broad Garden serves as a model for beginning farmers in the community to practice sustainable agriculture.  

In May 2013, the West Broad Farmers Market opened in the school’s tree-lined courtyard with the goal of increasing access to affordable, local, healthy food as well as providing economic opportunities for residents to grow food and sell their agriculture-based products. Shoppers can purchase produce that is grown steps from the market booths. The West Broad Garden and Farmers Market addresses barriers to healthy food access (including affordability, accessibility, and nutrition education) and celebrates the legacy of the West Broad School by maintaining it as a vibrant community asset.

Volunteer at West Broad Garden! 

Our volunteer hours at West Broad Market Garden are on Thursdays and Fridays from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM. For more information on volunteer opportunities, visit our volunteer page or contact our Volunteer Coordinator Morgan Watson at volunteer@athenslandtrust.org or 706-613-0122.

Visit the garden at 1573 West Broad Street.