LaDeara Crest community garden provides fresh vegetables for their neighbors

Addie Lewis, Calfornus Taylor and David L. Rice work in the LaDeara Crest community garden.

LaDeara Crest community garden provides fresh vegetables for their neighbors
June 27
01:15 2019

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

The adage goes: Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.

Crisis Control Ministry has given the adage a new twist: along with providing food from their client choice food pantry, they are helping folks in the LaDeara Crest neighborhood to grow their own vegetables in a community garden.

Carol Wilson, Community Engagement Coordinator for Crisis Control, said that the garden came out of the nutrition classes she held at the community resource center in 2016. She was teaching nutrition and cooking classes and included how to prepare fresh vegetables that she brought from the food pantry. The participants asked if they could start a community garden so fresh vegetables and herbs would be available. Crisis Control jumped at the chance to “teach a man to fish.”

The first garden was planted in 2017 and was a small plot. In 2018 the garden received a BB&T grant and two Boy Scouts created walkways and storage benches as their Eagle project. A fence was needed to keep critters like rabbits out of the expanding garden. Each year they have increased the raised bed gardens and they plan to add two more this year.

Crisis Control Ministry has continued to support the garden and the cooking classes. Liberty East Redevelopment provides seeds, soil and other needed items, such as tools. The Cooperative Extension Agency also helps with the garden.

Adults, as well as the YMCA after-school students, help plant, weed and gather vegetables from the garden. The rule is: if you work in the garden, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. Addie Lewis said she has enjoyed working in the garden. “It is something to get me out of my house when I’m not babysitting.” On a recent spring day, she was at the garden with her great-grandchildren, who were enjoying identifying the vegetables from the sprouting up from the soil.

Calfornus Taylor started working in the garden last year. He said, “This is something positive, watching it grow … it’s more healthy.” He said he missed out on the collard greens last year. “I hope to get some this year!”

David L. Rice also enjoys gardening. “It gets me out and exercises my mind and body.”

Wilson has drawn a map that is posted in the center indicating what is growing in each area. This year they have planted tomatoes, cucumbers, red and green peppers, onions, cabbage, okra broccoli, and sunflowers (not to eat, but to enjoy their beauty).

Rice noted that they also share the fruits of the garden with those in need in their community. He said, “The garden helps to bring our community together.”

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