On a warm July morning, Joy Albright talked with Angel Woodruff, Stella Smith, and Abby Huggins on the porch of Anathoth Garden. Joy is a HarvestShare member and longtime participant at the garden. Here is a short excerpt from the interview.
Joy: In 2006, my daughter had some friends that lived out 49 to Alamance County and we would go and meet them at the Cedar Grove church. And John Hughes and a couple people from the church had said “free vegetables” and I’m like, well, why don’t we just go see what they have, you know. And they had salad, they had lettuce, and so we went and got some. And then the next year, my friend Ardith, she said “I want to” – I would always give her a ride cause she didn’t have a car – so she said, “I want to pay your five dollars, I want you to come out to the garden I work at and I love.” So I took her out there and we worked in the cross – what do you call it – the native garden, with a couple people on the first week they were working on the native garden. We were planting herbs, me and Charlotte Hughes. And then I liked it, so I came back every time (laughs), a whole lot. My daughter came and she worked, she played out there with Fred’s kids, and was out there in the creek a lot.
You can’t go to the store and get the food you can get here, and have the fun, you know. You know, like me and my daughter planted the blueberry bushes about 2007 with a couple, you know, some other people. And a year or two later they started getting blueberries. You can’t get the blueberries in the store, with pesticides or whatever else on them. I don’t eat them cause it’s not good for you and it’s just better, you know. My daughter she likes blueberries, right off the vine, you know. So, and I like them too, and the yellow golds, they’re my favorite tomatoes. I like to pick one, eat one, pick one (laughs).
In 2011, one of my dogs got sick and he had cancer and there wasn’t a good. So I come out here, pray about it and stuff, get away from it all. But she only died when she was three years old and got cancer. So, and I was not in a good, you know. And maybe, and it was always calmer when you come out here. And then, Pastor Grace was out here when we first started going here too. There’s nothing like a, you know, garden, working in the garden too, getting vegetables right out of the garden.
And then I remember one time, whenever it's really hot out sometime, I think about when the people got murdered down here, two people got murdered. And we was out, and we went, they had a prayer vigil. And it was like, it might have been 30 degrees it was out here, and I remember not feeling my hands. It was cold but it was, we were out here praying, so.
When there’s like violence everywhere else there’s not violence here, its peaceful, you know what i mean? When you’ve had a bad day, if I was working, whatever I was doing, if I had a bad day, I’d just come out here and it would be peaceful and it’d be calm.
And it’s been a good, it’s been good in the garden. Some hot days. Some rainy days (laughs). Some thunderstorms.
It’s very educational out here. I learn, you know, how to do things that you usually don’t do gardening, you know. And it’s good for everybody to come, you know, work a little while at the garden, see where things come from. And cause, like, I have a grandma, she’s 92 years old. She doesn’t eat anything from a grocery store. She only uses, goes to like those fruit stands and eats the same way she’s eaten since she was little, you know. And so, it’s a very good experience and awesome outcome too with the food, so. Like the onions over there are really pretty. And we hang garlic in the, up in the ceiling when it comes in, to dry. And the blueberries are looking good this year, so, and the blackberries. And I remember one time we had flowers here, that was about the first year they had flowers. There was a flower and Marisa brought it over to me and said it looked like a rooster’s crow and she said, mama this looks like a rooster’s head, you know. She loved picking the flowers.