Harvest the Love at the Community Garden

Community Garden

At Green Key Village, we want your days to be filled with happiness, growth, and of course, connection to the things you love. That’s why we’re excited to introduce you to our very own community garden, a unique amenity where produce, outdoor fun, and friendships are always in season.

As your own personal oasis just steps from your home, you’re welcome to come down to relax, clear your mind, and bond with neighbors over the beauty of nature. We recently sat down with Jackie Kuhlman, one of our garden club members, to talk about what makes this community amenity so special! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to Green Key Village.

My husband and I are both Floridians (he’s from St. Petersburg, I’m from Gainesville), and we met at the University of Florida. We lived in Toledo for 15 years, and then in Wisconsin for another 10. We got tired of the snow so we returned to Florida, where we fell in love with the quiet, friendly environment at Green Key Village. We decided to purchase a home and have been here for less than a year, and we absolutely love it! We’ve already made really good friends and enjoy all of the amenities, especially the pickleball courts.

How did you get involved with the garden?

My dad was a plant pathologist at UF, so I always had a familiarity with gardens and crops. The community garden is just two lots from our home, so it’s easy to get to whenever we want, which encouraged me to get involved. One other couple had been doing the majority of the gardening until this past year, and the social committee wanted to see if the garden was of interest to other neighbors as well. 

We did a big kickoff for the garden and there’s been a ton of interest! The garden started out as just an open area to plant, but now it has 22 raised beds. We formed a garden club and now have a compost station that one of the gardeners manages and teaches everyone about. Another gardener has been scheduling educational opportunities, and has been in contact with a commercial gardener in Florida for suggestions.

What is the garden club currently working on?

The garden club is currently participating in a project to put out luminaries in front of the homes over the holidays. We’re not only trying to grow things, but to beautify the community. It’s been so much fun to watch neighbors develop relationships through participating in the garden. On a daily basis, I’ll see at least one other person over by the garden working on something. There are also a few people at the end of the day checking in on things.

What types of plants are growing in the garden? 

We’ve been having success with harvesting fall crops, including eggplants, tomatoes, green beans, carrots, herbs, peppers, and lettuce. People have made salads from what they’ve harvested!

What are you most looking forward to with the garden? 

I’m looking forward to gaining more knowledge and enjoying the community involvement. We have more available land for raised beds, so we have opportunities in the future to grow. Participants are also looking forward to learning more as they go to be more successful. We’re excited to continue to plant positivity and spread the fun around the community. 

All of us at Green Key Village hope you enjoy connecting with neighbors at the community garden!