Meet Scott! He lives in a unique neighborhood in Norcross called Adams Vineyard – a neighborhood with an amazing history and TWO HUNDRED muscadine vines.
“I believe there’s about 15 different varieties of muscadines. They were planted by Colonel John Adams. After serving in three wars, when he came home, his wife had polio. And so he wanted to be close to her. He started putting some shoots in over the years…. it turned into this with 200 vines. Now, there’s about 60 homes that form a loop road around this green space and conservation area, and there’s vines in the neighborhood that have been here over 80 years. It’s quite unique and we’re very fortunate to live with this beautiful space.”
Scott has happy memories growing up around lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. He shares, “I remember my mom stopping at the fresh fruit and vegetable stands, and the tomatoes, the corn – you know, just the pop that you get when you eat fresh food.” So when Scott moved to Adams Vineyard a little over a year ago, he says, “I raised my hand and said, ‘I’ll help try to take care of these 200 vines.’”
The vines are a communal resource, located in a circular shared green space in neighbors’ backyards. Adams Vineyard has a beautiful history of neighborhood cooperation taking care of the vineyard. Various neighbors have stepped up to keep the vineyard healthy over the years. “We all kind of chip in and each take care of some of the work involved.”
The neighbors enjoy the muscadine harvest, but the Adams Vineyard community also cherishes the relationship they’ve built with Concrete Jungle. “Concrete Jungle is doing work that we couldn’t possibly do ourselves. I think that’s what’s really neat about Concrete Jungle – especially in a big city like Atlanta where you have a lot of folks that don’t have experience with eating fresh food in general. Concrete Jungle comes in with all of its volunteers and makes sure the fruit of our vineyard that would otherwise go to waste gets into the hands of people who really appreciate it. It helps us feel good about not just having this vineyard for ourselves, but sharing it.”
Scott laughs as he says, “I think we all like raisins, but we don’t want all these grapes to turn into shriveled up raisins and not be enjoyed when they’re fresh! The muscadines won’t last super long. Concrete Jungle is able to store them and get them distributed as quickly as possible out to local food pantries…. it’s fantastic to hear that daycare centers received some of the grapes and the kids just loved it.”
Scott has a deep appreciation for how neighborhoods like Adams Vineyard and Concrete Jungle work together. “Who knows how many little random orchards are around Atlanta? It’s made me realize that, it’s one thing to just drive by something like this, but it’s another thing to take responsibility for figuring out how to get food into people’s mouths. I had no idea. I’ve never been a farmer. I’m still not a farmer. But I’m beginning to have a little bit of an appreciation for what it’s all about– it’s a whole lot of work. It’s a labor of love too. Concrete Jungle volunteers have picked about 900 pounds of muscadines this year.”
As we round out another fruitful year, we need your help. You – our community – are critical to CJ’s success. We rely on you to help us harvest the fruits of local trees. And we rely on you to donate the fruits of your own labor, so that we can get more produce to people who need it.
Your donation at the end of the year will support CJ as we draw the map to the future. With your help, we will increase our capacity to meet the nutrition needs of communities experiencing food insecurity.
Will you help us map the way to a fruitier future by making a gift to Concrete Jungle before the year is up? Please make a gift so that we can keep getting delicious, nutritious food to folks who need it: donorbox.org/mapthefruit