Staff and volunteers at the Durham Community Food Pantry take great pride in the volunteer cultivated garden located in the back of the pantry. Ask Suzan Perry, Master Gardner and DCFP volunteer, about the garden and watch her beaming smile as she talks about everything that is currently in season and almost ready to be harvested.

Suzan started the garden three years ago with only a small, wild space, and a dream of providing the freshest produce possible to the pantry’s clients.

When asked why she started the garden she shared, “I just love to garden and really wanted to provide people with fresh produce while doing something I love.”

Suzan’s first challenge was to tame weeds and kudzu where the garden would be placed. With space cleared and opportunity ahead, Suzan began finding receptacles to house the plants.

“I started with just a few small containers for some seeds and small plants. However, I was able to find more planters and help reduce waste by utilizing found objects to house the plants.”

Suzan brings freshly picked produce to families waiting to receive their groceries.

Through Suzan’s creativity and ingenuity, items including a bathtub, a former storage shed , and other large containers that volunteers rescued became homes for plants to thrive and produce healthy food.

Suzan and the DCFP volunteers have replaced an overgrown hillside with a place of beauty where they dutifully tend the soil and bring new life out of the ground. Once the produce is ready to be harvested it is hand-picked and distributed to families served the DCFP.