Project Leaders: Connie Chorba/Ron Novak
Impact Numbers: 70,000 plus
WCMGA volunteer participation: approximately 15
Purpose of Project:The Carter House project provides volunteer opportunities for WCMGA members to learn new horticulture skills, and to demonstrate their existing skills at this National Historic Landmark. Master Gardener volunteers share their techniques for growing annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables, and fruit trees. The Carter House hosts tens of thousands of visitors each year, and is an excellent venue to showcase WCMGA’s objectives. Tourists, history buffs, and local residents can experience not only the historical significance, but also the site’s landscape beauty through the efforts of our volunteers. The project has evolved from simply maintaining the grounds to many additional activities. With good horticultural diversity, volunteering there is not just work, but also fun. Additionally, volunteering at the Carter House provides a great opportunity for members to give back to the community that we proudly call home.
This site was the epicenter of the 1864 Battle of Franklin. We try to grow varieties of plants and trees that existed there before and after the Civil War. We were fortunate to have a fairly detailed record of the orchard and some of the vegetables that were actually planted there after the battle. Through research, we have identified and planted every variety of the apple trees that existed there in 1870, including one variety that originated in the 17th century. We also grow some of the same peach tree varieties that were planted there after the battle. Produce from the vegetable garden and fruit from the orchard are donated to local charities. Through the tireless efforts of local and national Civil War preservation groups, more acreage is being preserved that will further enhance the site. This will involve an enlarged vegetable garden, new flower and shrub plantings, and more opportunities for WCMGA volunteers.
Carter House Website Link