On Saturday, Sept. 24, the Piedmont Feed & Garden Center on Highway 54 held its annual Fall Festival.
Community members could pick pumpkins from the pumpkin patch, enjoy store-wide sales and sip on local brews while they shopped at the garden center.
From 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Haw River Farmhouse Ales sampled local brews and Bobby’s Wood Fired BBQ food truck served barbecue plates and pulled-pork sandwiches. The Painted Grape, a craft and paint studio, painted attendees’ faces.
UNC alumna Lilly Williamson and her husband purchased Piedmont Feed & Garden Center in 2014 and have been owners of the garden center since.
The garden center has served the community for over 30 years, according to its Facebook page.
Williamson said the farm is a local, independent, family-owned resource for the community. She said they have quality plants and knowledgeable staff ready to help community members.
“If you start branching out and going to your local garden centers, you’re going to find all kinds of plants you never really dreamed existed,” she said.
They want to promote local and family-owned businesses in the community, Williamson said.
“To us, that’s important,” she said. “These events draw attention to the fact that there are still these small businesses.”
Sarah Kingan, chairperson of community service for the Chapel Hill Garden Club, and Daphne Gibson McLeod, chairperson of photography for the club, ran a table at the festival.
Kingan and McLeod provided community members with information about the club and answered any questions they may have had about gardening.
Kingan added the club supports a variety of different town programs, such as the Ronald McDonald House initiative and Habitat for Humanity. They also work with kids at Estes Hills Elementary School and through the Wonder Connection program with kids who are seriously ill, she said.
McLeod said that, in addition to serving the community, the club has hosted bi-annual garden tours since 1996. Their next tour will be from April 27 to 28.
“In 2024, we will have five private gardens – these are gardens that are not seen unless you come to this tour,” McLeod said. “It’s kind of a cool thing to be able to go into the backyards of beautiful gardens in Chapel Hill.”
McLeod added they want to invite all the “young folks” to their club.
Jake Scott, Piedmont Feed & Garden Center manager, coordinates event planning.
He said the center has a great customer base naturally, but he wants to make it a more family-fun “destination” garden center.
In addition to having Food Truck Saturdays, the Piedmont Feed & Garden Center has events lined up for the rest of fall. On Thursday, Oct. 13, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., they will host a Sip and Paint Party — a joint event with the Painted Grape.
“It’s a BYOB event, people bring their own beverage of choice, we’ll have some light snacks and stuff like that,” Scott said.
Halloween will be celebrated at the garden center on Saturday, Oct. 29, Scott said.
He added there will be costume contests for pets and children and a live bluegrass band at the event.
“Venture out of town, you know, we’re not that far out from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area," Scott said. "Come make an event of it – I’m sure we’ve got something you’ll realize you didn’t need, but you’ll want."
Community members interested in joining the club can visit its website.
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