On Wednesday, October 5, 2011, Five Oaks Middle School students partnered with The Generous Garden Project to benefit members of the Greenville community. Located behind the Wild Radish Health Store on Verdin Street in Greenville, the goal of The Generous Garden Project is to provide local food banks with nutritious, locally grown foods that are not always readily available to such organizations. Due to necessity, many food banks store foods that have a longer shelf-life, but that are more processed and preserved. Because of this, many individuals who rely on these food banks miss out on important nutrients that fresh produce provides. The Generous Garden seeks to eliminate that problem. Not only do volunteers maintain large gardens of food, but they do so organically. Volunteers also visit local farms to glean produce that, while perfectly appropriate for immediate use, may not make it all the way through the packaging process and to market. Instead of these goods going to waste, they are given to local families in need.
The Middle School class spent several hours with volunteers from The Generous Garden Project, harvesting tomatoes, lettuce and okra, moving their chicken coop, feeding and watering their worm farm, and fertilizing their fields. While they visited, Middle School students also got to see local volunteers from food banks arrive to pick up the produce they harvested. Students were able to see The Generous Garden’s future plans for an aquaponic greenhouse system that will allow them to grow crops and fish in a re-circulating, mutually beneficial system. The students were able to see how their own hard work that day benefitted the volunteers at The Generous Garden Project and the community at large.
If you or your family or any other group you may be involved with, are interested in helping The Generous Garden Project, take a look at their website at www.generousgarden.org. There you can donate funds, sponsor a garden bed, find ways to share your gardening materials or discover how to give of your time and help make your community a happier, healthier place.