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Irrigation system donated to Northeast Georgia History Center
Hall County Master Gardener Bill McMahan digs a trench Thursday for a drip irrigation system to be installed at the Victory Garden at the Northeast Georgia History Center in Gainesville.

“I’m too old for this!” said Lori Knuteson, laughing while she dug a trench in the soil of the victory garden at the Northeast Georgia History Center.

Knuteson and her fellow Master Gardeners are digging the necessary trench for a new irrigation system at the garden, which produces fruits and vegetables for two local nonprofit organizations.

The trench has to be 4 inches wide, a foot deep and approximately 40 feet long.

Roberts Plumbing Inc. installed the system, made of supplies donated by Gainesville Winnelson Co.

“So, they’re donating parts, and Roberts is putting everything together, and we are doing the muscle,” said Donald Linke, a Master Gardener involved in the project that otherwise would have cost $1,000.

“We are happy to help,” said Trey Morgan of Gainesville Winnelson Co.

The gardeners had been struggling with the best way to water the plants, including potatoes, beans, tomatoes, squash, cucumber, okra, peppers and watermelon.

“Before our system, we tried to run all six (zones) at the same time, and we couldn’t even get water through,” Linke said.

With the new system, the club will be able to control each of the garden’s six zones separately, making sure plants receive the correct amount of water pressure through the hose.

The victory garden began a few years ago with the Master Gardeners spearheading the project. It is designed to replicate what were called victory gardens in the 1940s, where residents were encouraged to grow their own food as the country experienced food shortages during World War II. Now, the Master Gardener Class of 2012 maintains the plot.

Last year, the Master Gardeners cultivated and donated more than 300 pounds of fresh vegetables to Our Neighbor, which helps young adults with disabilities, and My Sister’s Place, a women’s shelter.

“We are appreciative of everyone who thinks of us, but there’s something extra special about receiving things fresh from the garden,” Brandee Thomas, managing director of My Sister’s Place. “We try to teach our residents about making healthy food choices, no matter what their budget.”

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