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      Avondale community getting first community vegetable garden

      By Gregory Woods gwoods@abcnews4.com

      WEST ASHLEY, S. C. (WCIV) -- At the Triangle Char & Bar, it's all about cooking recipes made with local produce. The restaurant does all it can to support the community that supports them one meal at a time.

      "Even the people that paint our artwork in our building are all local," said Michael Lotz, Director of Operations at the restaurant. "And we recycle and compost everything all the way down to our food scraps."

      So when the Charleston Parks Conservancy planned a 3.7-acre community vegetable garden blocks from the restaurant, they didn't think twice about getting involved.

      "The salads are going to benefit from the garden and we'll be able to have a fresh vegetable we'll be able to offer weekly," said Lotz.

      Jim Martin is the Program Director for the Charleston Parks Conservancy. He runs the garden program. Martin says when the land is ready within the next month, people in the neighborhood will be able to lease plots for $50 a year.

      "You get a 4-by-8 slot, access to water, and some really cool opportunities to learn how to garden if you don't (know how)," said Martin.

      For those who can't afford to lease a plot, there are volunteer opportunities to help maintain the garden.

      "And if that day we were harvesting spinach, you would be able to take some of that spinach home. Now if you lease a space, anything that you grow in there is yours," Martin said.

      For Triangle Char & Bar, the garden will only serve to help current recipes.

      "Our spaghetti squash would benefit from the garden, growing it yourself really allows us to continue to ensure that we have the freshest ingredients," said Lotz.

      On Thursday, ABC News 4 will be live from Avondale as part of the Your Neighbors series.

      At 6 and 7 p.m., Dean Stephens and Victoria Hansen will be live from the Children's Cancer Society Thrift Store. Then there will be a meet-and-greet event at 7:30 p.m. at Triangle Char and Bar where we will provide food and give-aways.

      Don't forget to drop off a canned food item for the Lowcountry Food Bank.

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