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Spring Blooms at Wilmington College Community Gardens

Cassi Carter, Director of the Wilmington College Community Gardens, is preparing 33 garden beds on the Wilmington College campus for the 2024 season. Cassi explains the program, previously known as ‘Grow Food Grow Hope’, was founded in part as a reaction to the DHL economy crisis in 2008, aiming to provide food security for the community.

Cassi first discovered her passion for gardening on her grandparents’ farm in Highland County growing up. She cultivated this passion into her adulthood, accumulating certifications in herbalism, horticulture, and landscaping. In addition to her love for educating others on the skills of gardening and sustainable living, Cassi is a full-time AG substitute at Wilmington High School.

While under the direction of Cassi, the main focus of the Community Gardens is to promote self-sustainability, for which she teaches multiple workshops throughout the season, including seed collection and heavy mulching. The seed collection workshop teaches gardeners how to collect and properly store seeds from harvested produce. This course emphasizes the importance of “heirloom seeds” and creating regenerative gardens. The heavy mulching workshop focuses on rain conservation, preventing weeds, and encouraging worm populations for a “no-till system”. 

Cassi continues her impact beyond the Community Gardens, partnering with local libraries to provide free seeds to communities. Currently, the Wilmington Library has a collection located near the help desk—all seeds can easily be checked out with a library card.

Cassi invites gardeners of every stage to register for this free and educational program. No supplies are required. To learn more about this program, or to register for a garden bed, email



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