Ranson WV Old Town Community Garden
~~Jefferson County Community Ministries (JCCM) is a non-profit partnership of local faith communities to serve the needs of our less advantaged neighbors for food, clothing, and assistance services. Beginning in the spring of 2013, JCCM began working with a team of gardening and urban agriculture specialists to establish an all-season garden with the goal of providing a wide variety of healthful organically-grown produce for use in JCCM’s healthful cooking classes and distribution through JCCM’s Food Pantry. The two garden sites are located just a few blocks away on two city properties in the Old Town District of Ranson, West Virginia The project also serves as a walk-in demonstration area where our volunteers, clients and garden neighbors can learn gardening skills through hands-on experience with many different methods for growing vegetables and fruit. Finally, the garden provides many social benefits by fostering community interactions, neighborhood pride, and “garden values” (e.g., responsibility, patience, generosity, curiosity, entrepreneurship, etc.), and by offering children a place to explore and learn about Nature.
West Virginia University’s Extension Service agents and their Master Gardener Program are providing invaluable technical assistance, and using the garden for public education, such as a recent workshop on urban gardening methods, including a hands-on demonstration of how to construct a low tunnel for extending the growing season.
During 2013, more than 60 volunteers from faith communities, local agencies and businesses, and the neighborhood prepared garden sites, delivered soil and mulch, built and planted the beds, maintained the gardens (watering, fertilizing, controlling pests and diseases), and picked and delivered the harvest. Their efforts have increased JCCM’s capability to provide healthful produce to those in need, as they hone their gardening skills and become better informed on the importance of gardens in creating sustainable communities.. .
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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