The man behind the Kingswood Community Center garden: Reynolds Abrams
Thanksgiving is historically a time to celebrate the bounty of food provided during harvest time.
And while community gardens don’t yield the same amount of produce as larger plots of land, they still can bear significant fruit – literally.
Wilmington’s Kingswood Community Center has grown in recent years to include a variety of fruit trees and bushes – dwarf peach, pear and apple trees as well as raspberry, blackberry, blueberry and strawberry bushes.
And the man behind the garden – Reynolds Abrams – said that for the amount of time and effort he puts into the garden, it’ll keep growing.
“To see people enjoy something that you done grew? I mean, can’t get no better than that. Love is the greatest gift that can be given. You put love into your garden, love comes out of your garden.”
Abrams is the buildings operations manager at the Kingswood Community Center.
But having grown up in Star Hill, his gardening experience and 4H experience soon led him to become its head gardener, too.
“I’m a country boy, I’ve been in gardens most of my life in the country," he said. "I came out here one day and I looked at it and I said, is anybody doing anything with this garden out here? The executive director said no, and I said it’s mine now. And I’ve been working with it ever since. The garden is my baby, it’s my pet peas. I love doing it.”
He said Kingswood brought he and his wife together, too. She’s a receptionist at Kingswood now, but they met years before when Abrams worked as a behavioral health counselor for prisoners in Smyrna and she was working for Kingwood’s Project Stay Free.
“Project Stay Free was dealing with the youth that were troubled, had trouble in school, high school, stuff like that. They had an alternative program," he said. "That’s what they’d do, they’d bring them down to the prison to see what they were getting into.”
They were friends for over 20 years, but when Abrams moved to Wilmington, they started dating and then married in 2008.
Abrams’ love of gardens carried over into his wedding day. He says they got married twice: at 9 am in the Brandywine Rose garden and at 4 pm in a church in front of 400 people.