Growing Up Not Out!
This garden began in the spring of 2013. It began with 50 sq. ft., my children, my nieces, brother, sister-in-law, and neighbors. It has expended to 450 sq. ft., and with the help of my two children, surrounding neighbors (which includes 8 children under 10 years), and my children's preschool classes, we harvested over 400 lbs. of fresh vegetables. My family, as well as families from my children's preschool, and a neighboring family, are in desperate need of food assistance, and this communal garden has provided an enormous amount of fresh, organic food that we would otherwise be unable to afford. In addition, the practical, hands-on education the children (20 ranging from 1 year to 16 years) receive has had a comprehensive effect on their lives. They are more aware of environmental influences and the effects humans can have from first hand experience. They've gained confidence in themselves from nurturing and mastering skills to feed themselves and their families. They have learned how to cook and preserve in a fast food world. The children, and adults, can identify over dozens of fruits and vegetables, trees, birds, insects, as well as other garden pests, like chipmunks, possums, moles, snakes, etc. this garden his filled not only a nutrional and educational void in many lives, but also a spiritual void. My own children would now rather lay in the grass and watch the clouds than watch television, and would rather dig for worms than play with electronics. This garden has brought my neighborhood, preschool, and extended family together in a disconnected, impersonal world. We would love to expand the garden to include fruit trees, fruit bushes, and a greenhouse to extend our growing season, as well as more raised beds for general planting. (Our Alabama soil here is clay rock.)
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
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