Fall Harvest at The Coves Community Gardens

Coves community gardens

Autumn is in the air! And, if you’re a fan of this exhilarating time of year, why not experience its breathtaking beauty in the mountains of Western North Carolina? The harvest here is plentiful. Baskets overflow with hardy veggies, and bushels are piled high with fresh apples and sweet, sun-ripened grapes from North Carolina vineyards.

Mountain breezes blow falling leaves overhead as walking buddies with flushed cheeks hit their favorite hiking trails in Western NC. Autumn scents permeate the air, beckoning the hikers toward pumpkin patches, where they’ll top off their afternoon with an old-fashioned hayride before gathering around a blazing bonfire to sip hot spiced cider and share stories of family, friends, and fond memories of the season.

All this happens against the most spectacular landscape as Mother Nature wraps a shawl of vibrant hues across the Blue Ridge. Fall foliage season along the hiking trails in Western NC is said to run from mid-October through early November. But the stunning shades of autumn last well beyond their expected peak. The lively palette of fiery reds, oranges, and yellows turn to muted rust, copper, and golden tones as the season rolls on. As if to emulate the elegant waterfalls of Western North Carolina, the colors cascade down the mountainside, beginning at the higher elevations and flowing down to the foothills.

Autumn’s lush leaves provide a rich background for this work-of-nature’s-art. But it’s those fabulous fall flowers that are the true stars of the season. Wild sunflowers, goldenrods, black-eyed Susans, and asters light up the landscape with a dazzling display and infuse the air with sweet fragrance. When the fall flowers bloom, the harvest is not far behind. Soon the autumn veggies growing in a nearby community garden will be ripe for the picking. 

At The Coves Mountain River Club, harvest season is a busy and exciting time of year, and it gets the neighbors talking. If you think it’s unusual to hear “harvest talk” in a conversation about one of Lenoir NC’s most popular gated mountain communities, that’s because The Coves is more than just a place to call home. It’s where people go to live life to the fullest in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Described as a mountain lover’s dream-come-true, The Coves is a clear favorite among baby boomers looking for a Blue Ridge community that combines easygoing retirement living with active lifestyle opportunities. The Coves beautifully blends the two, and tops it all off with a full menu of amenities – including an on-site community garden and vineyard.

That’s why there’s plenty of talk about autumn’s harvest at The Coves this time of year. The Coves is a garden lover’s paradise. The land here is fresh and fertile, with mineral-rich soil from the Johns River, which runs five miles along the property and joins up with Wilson Creek, a number of lively streams, and four of the most scenic waterfalls of Western North Carolina.

This water frontage along with the mild climate in Lenoir NC creates conditions that make The Cove’s community garden and vineyard perfect for growing crops and growing friendships. Neighbors at The Coves enjoy working side-by-side on their shared plots, planting, tending, and harvesting in this lovely riverside setting.

At Isabel’s Garden, favorites among the veggie crops include tomatoes, peppers, radishes, and greens. Herbs grow well here too. The most popular are basil, oregano, rosemary, and sage. This sunny community garden is also a perfect place for growing fruits and flowers – strawberries, watermelon, and sunflowers in the summer, and tulips and daffodils in the springtime.

But this is autumn, and the fruit everyone’s talking about these days are the grapes from Evelyn’s Vineyard. The vines in this well-groomed winery are heavy with white and red Muscadine grapes (a variety that’s popular in many North Carolina vineyards), which hobbyists and would-be viticulturists at The Coves will harvest and transform into tasty wines or homemade jams and glazes.

No experience is necessary to tend a plot in Isabel’s Garden or Evelyn’s Vineyard. As far as The Coves community is concerned, all shades of green thumb are welcome. Gardeners can choose to tend an individual plot or share one with a friend. Community gardening is an enriching experience for friends and neighbors, and everyone is encouraged to dig in, get their hands dirty, and get things growing!

Isabel’s Garden and Evelyn’s Vineyard are just two of the wonderful outdoor activities offered at The Coves Mountain River Club in Western North Carolina. The terrain and climate make for a long growing season that begins in March and keeps the harvest abundant through until late December, which allows many months of gardening and farm-to-table dining for residents of The Coves.

Later, when the sun dips behind Grandfather Mountain, the same neighbors who enjoyed gardening, hiking, and hayriding by day will gather on the expansive porch at Pisgah Mountain Lodge, where they’ll sip their homemade wines and hardy vegetable chowders under a harvest moon. They’ll share food, wine, and the beauty of the season with their Coves neighbors who, like the autumn leaves, will undergo a beautiful transformation … from neighbors into lifelong friends.

When you stop by to visit our community garden and vineyard, ask about all the other unique amenities that make our gated community a mountain lover’s paradise, not just during the glorious autumn months, but all year round.

Call 828.754.0700 to schedule your visit to our one-of-a kind mountain community.

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