The annual Gathering in the Garden fundraiser will be held this Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Brownwood Area Community Garden.
    The event will feature dinner from Steves’ Market and Deli, music from pianist Debra Mathis, a raffle and a fire pit, all held under and around the garden’s arbor.
    Daniel Graham works at the garden and helps organize the gathering each fall. “We’ve scheduled it from 4 to 7 because the sunset’s going to be right about halfway through,” Graham said. “We’re hoping for good weather, obviously, and as soon as it starts to get dark we’ll have a fire pit as well, so people can just sit around the fire.”
    Graham said the dinner was an opportunity to take advantage of the last days of nice weather before the first freeze of the year. “We’ve got a lot of color still, a lot of flowers still blooming,” he said. “It’s just a very relaxing night … We want people to stroll around the garden and see what’s growing.”
    All proceeds from the evening will go to maintaining the garden. According to Graham, the garden serves four main functions for the Brownwood community—renting plots, donation, education and job training.
    About half the garden’s plots are available for rent. Brownwood Area Community Garden board member Gary Loomis said renters could grow plants and produce of their choosing.
    The other half of the garden grows food for donation. “Most of that goes either to the Salvation Army or the Good Samaritan,” Loomis said.
    Graham said the garden had also donated food to the ARK women’s shelter this year.
    As for education, Graham said the garden offered classes throughout the year. “For example, this year we had classes on pollinator protection and honeybee safety,” Graham said.
    Because the garden is located next to Experience Works, it partners with the nonprofit to give paid job training to workers 55 and older. Experience Works collaborates with many Brownwood-area nonprofits, including the community garden, to train potential employees.
    “The idea is to help train them so that eventually they might get a job in the private sector in the community,” Graham said. He said the garden was currently working part-time with two trainees.
    Gathering in the Garden attendees will be supporting all those causes, Graham said, but will also be enjoying a pleasant fall evening. “This is going to be one of the last chances to have a nice, pleasant dinner outside before the winter weather hits, and to see the last of the fall garden,” he said.
    Graham encouraged people to visit the Brownwood Area Community Garden Facebook page.
    Tickets to the gathering are $10 and can be purchased at the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce or directly from the garden. Graham can be contacted for tickets or questions at 325-641-9029.