Edible Jasper volunteers installed four planters at 61 Main last week and filled them with herbs. Above, restaurant owner Jenna Schreiber (wearing hat) looks over plants donated to the project.
It’s not quite guerilla gardening, because they always have permission from landowners, but Edible Jasper is one step closer to making downtown Jasper a feast for your eyes AND your mouth.
“So now we’ve got the north end of Main Street at the Progress parking lot and the south end at 61 Main,” said Sustainable Pickens’ Vered Kleinberger. “We just need to fill in the middle.”
Edible Jasper is a project of Sustainable Pickens, the group begun in 2010 for and by those interested in sustainable living and creating community. Edible Jasper is a collaborative effort with the goal of sustainably landscaping Jasper with herbs, medicinal or otherwise useful plants.
Last Friday evening, just as the dinner crowd began to pour into the popular South Main Street restaurant, 61 Main, volunteers with Edible Pickens installed four coconut fiber-lined planters on the outdoor railing and filled them with lemon thyme, German thyme, purple basil, hot peppers, sweet peppers, apple mint, edible flowers, parsley, oregano, and seeded nasturtiums.
To the delight of many passersby, volunteers included young gardeners as well. Four-year-old Scarlett, and five-year-old Auri helped line planters with plastic bags and fill them with soil.
While the lion’s share of the 61 Main project is completed, there will be two more large planters able to hold larger herbs, such as rosemary or sage.
Edible Jasper extends its services to any businesses in downtown Jasper that would like a sustainable garden. The group offers the service for free and will donate any plants they have on hand to the project. All any business would need to provide would be special plants or pots they want to use.
In the case of the 61 Main project, for example, owners Jenna and Tad Schreiber purchased the garden planters, and the McIntyre family donated many of the plants.
Edible Jasper will even 'warranty' the gardens for as long as the group remains active. The business owner will be responsible for watering their garden and doing basic maintenance, but if plants die or the business owner would like to include other plants, Edible Jasper is available to help.
The group’s first project in the Pickens County Progress parking lot is now thriving, with spearmint, chocolate mint, bee balm, lemon balm, rosemary, oregano, sage, fennel, wild onions, lemon thyme, German thyme, chamomile, banana trees, blueberries, with a fig tree, grapes, and raspberries on the way.
All of the group’s gardens are open to the public. People can take sprigs or berries from any of the plants, as long as they don’t take everything. In the case of the 61 Main herbs, Edible Jasper asks that you ask the restaurant owners before removing any plants.
Financial, soil, and plant contributions are appreciated and can be accepted through the 501(c)3 Educational Excursions for a tax-deductible donation.
Learn more at www.EdibleJasper.com