Community Spotlight-The Avery Tomato Shed Project
The City of Avery, in conjunction with a group of community members are raising funds for a nostalgic project that will soon benefit the whole town. Dirt work has begun on a new Tomato Shed in Avery, with funds from private donations and a grant obtained by the city through the Lennox Foundation. The new shed will be located downtown Avery, across from City Hall on Alabama Street. At one time there were as many as nine tomato sheds in Avery, used during the time that agriculture was booming in the area. Over the years all of these sheds have deteriorated, or been torn down or destroyed. The new shed will be constructed reminiscent of the old ones, with cupolas on top, but constructed from steel instead of wood.
Phase one of construction will raze the building. In the next phases, plans are to build a concessions area, handicapped-accessible restrooms, a stage, and a small museum showcasing the rich history of Avery. A memorial brick fundraiser project is currently underway to help fund these later projects. Anyone may purchase a 4x8 memorial brick, with a 3 line personalized message, to be used on the site of the Tomato Shed Project. These bricks may be used for a sidewalk, within the structure itself, or in a separate structure on the grounds, depending on the number of bricks sold. Bricks are $50, and may be purchased online at www.fundraisingbrick.com/avery. Deadline for purchase is September 25.
Avery resident Phyllis Parker Stanley is helping organize the fundraising efforts, and says the new facility will be a great asset to the town of Avery. “The new Tomato Shed will be available for everyone to enjoy,” she said. “You will be able to reserve it for any type party or gathering, reunions, garage sales, and even weddings. We also hope to hold a Farmers Market there in the summer, and plans are underway for a local artist to paint a mural on one side. It will be something everyone will enjoy here in Avery.”
Construction is expected to begin on the building within the month.