Groundhogs invade garden intended for those in need

The Our Hands Garden Ministry was created to provide produce for free to those in the community, but unwanted furry guests have delayed this year’s plans.
Groundhog(25 NEWS)
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 11:40 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A church’s garden intended for community members has recently had a run-in with some unexpected guests, and according to one of the church’s elders, this isn’t the first time.

The Our Hands Garden Ministry at Alameda Christian Church on Ashland City Highway has been visited by several groundhogs. According to Elder Lillie Wiggins, their visit is not welcome.

In a Facebook post, Wiggins said the animals are “voracious eaters” and that they don’t realize the garden is growing for “hungry people, not as a buffet for them.”

Wiggins said the garden was created in 2011 to provide produce for those in the church community who need it most. She said the garden has quadrupled in size since it was established.

“Produce from the garden is given away free to those living in low-income, fixed-income housing units in north and east Nashville and distributed to senior citizens within our church membership,” Wiggins said.

She said they also set up a table on the weekends to give out extra produce to anyone who stops by at no cost. Though groundhogs are the current issue, the garden has encountered other uninvited furry guests before.

Wiggins said in 2022, deer ate and destroyed precious produce like kale, collards, beans and okra. To fix the issue, the church installed an invisible fence, which worked for the time being, but groundhogs have seemingly worked around it as Wiggins said she sees their tracks all over the garden.

Wiggins said the church has not planted anything in the groundhogs’ preferred diet as they wait for the animals to be trapped and relocated. Wiggins said this delay is slowing their efforts in getting free produce to people in need.

“We need our little furry friends gone so we can feed hungry people,” Wiggins said.

For more information on the Our Hands Garden Ministry, visit the Alameda Christian Church’s website.