• Yndiana Montes

The Importance of The Roots Garden in Boone

Updated: Jun 29





Photos: Bill Milligan

King Street is the main street in Boone running parallel to the short and narrow Howard Street where The Roots Garden has been located since 2017. For me, this community garden is a place to gather not only for scheduled events. Although I know this particular community garden is part of the solution for food security for many in Boone, but because I'm an older student it means much more to me. The Roots Garden gave me a sense of place when I came to Boone to study Sustainable Development at Appalachian State University. One of the things that I noted from the beginning was the way that the department was involved with the community and how easy was to interact with other people that did not belong to the faculty. And I loved it!


Later on, I shared some unforgettable times with the garden manager, Sydney Blume, a diversely creative, very knowledgeable, sweet and generous person. Wherever she announced an event, I was there. When nothing was going on, I was around also. I got familiarized with old and young faces alike; with the ones that came to pick some tomatoes for a salad and the others that just wanted to stretch in the only green space on the street. On the other hand, I must say that now that I'm studying the important topic of water and watersheds and Boone is growing so rapidly, this small piece of land also serves to drain the soil. The town floods every time there is a strong storm!


In one of those gatherings that Sydney organized, I met Mr. Johnell Hunter, who is well know by the Sustainable Development students as the main participant in some of our events. He's a very well recognized herbalist in North Carolina and is an "open book" on crops, herbs, essential oils and all things agriculture and wellbeing. He combines all these activities and being related to our department in an informal way with teaching how to grow crops and plants at High Point University, besides farming in his own land in Winston Salem.

Ex garden manager Sydney Blume chatting with herbalist Johnell Hunter at 2018 Equinox gathering in The Roots Garden. She graduated as an SD major, gave classes and managed the SD gardens last year.

Cullen Beasley is now the new garden manager and was one of my classmates last year and is doing a terrific job in his new position. Whenever I need more information on herbs and veggies I always get his opinion, especially if grabbing something new for me. Usually, I bring my hot water with honey in a huge mug and sip it during classes. I feel so grateful for having this community garden on the same street where I take the classes for my Media minor at the Reich College of Education building. My life revolves on aromatic herbs, oils and organic food, and I have all these here plus pure air and water.


To honor this work of our SD department in this garden I wanted to write this up in this blog entry and post my partner Bill Milligan's photos and my video. This community garden is like any other in town because is open to everyone, including visitors, being located in the heart of the city where locals and tourist can enjoy. This is sustainable tourism!



In my video, Cullen Beasley talks to herbalist Johnell Hunter about the importance of this particular community garden in the City of Boone.


Thank you for watching my video and please subscribe to my channel. This is the first one of a series of community garden videos.


(This video is made with Adobe Rush and not with Adobe Premier which was taught in the Media minor. Next semester, I will learn all about Rush and will be able to create better videos from the tech prospective).




Me with Mr. and Mrs. Hunter




Mr. Hunter had some great talks with Thomas Cooper


I love my life at App State!

Informal Q & A with ASU SD graduate Thomas Cooper

Ripe for picking! FREE Raspberries and blackberries!