Guest Blog from Our Wonderful Grantees in Georgia!

I am excited to share with you my second guest blog from Ms. Shawna Babin’s Class. I am very happy and lucky to have Sydney, Greyson, Jared, Abbey, Nathan, Sophia, Shay, Thomas, Kate, Mitch, Abigail and Dreyton as my grantees.

Here is what two kids in her class wrote on their application, “Metro Athens is one of the poorest areas in the entire state of Georgia. There are a lot of homeless people in the city, and I want to be able to help them! I think they would really love to get home grown vegetables, I know I would!” and “I feel it is important to help people in need because they still deserve food even if they are poor. I also feel it helps the economy and community. I hear a lot about the bad economy and people are losing their jobs so I think to feed people who are in need is something we can all help do. When I went to Chicago on vacation last summer, I saw lots of homeless people who could not afford food. Sometimes I see people who can’t afford good clothes to keep them warm in the winter near where I live.”

After winning the grant my class was very excited about getting started.  We spend a lot of time planning and drawing out what we wanted our garden to look like in the space that we had at our school.  The soil condition at our school was really poor so we decided to build mostly raised gardens.  Our next step was to implement a school-wide composting project.  Our local Oconee Beautiful program donated three large compost bins.  Our goal was to make as much of our own soil as possible for our garden space.

Our next step was to go to Lowe’s to spend our grant money.  We took an exciting trip to Lowe’s, the students learned so much about planning ahead and all that was involved in starting a big project.

These pictures show the progression of the construction of our garden.  At the end of our project we built ten raised beds and developed a 15×30 foot tilled area with a fence trellis. We have our garden stock with numerous kinds of tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, squash, green beans, peas, okra, zucchini, cucumbers, herbs, and onions.  We also have some fruits: strawberries, blueberries, and figs.

Our plan is to take care of our garden throughout the summer.  All of our produce will be given to Cornerstone Ministries.  This ministry feeds the homeless in our area a hot meal every Wednesday and Sunday.  The efforts of my class this year will touch the lives of many people in our area.  I cannot wait to watch our garden grow!!!!