A new project has taken root at Big Sandy Community and Technical College - a community garden.
If you have driven by the BSCTC lately you may have seen a new addition— a new garden which has five 20-foot raised beds tended by several different groups. A team of college staff and students, some community members and the M&O staff of BSCTC built the raised beds in April. The college team is raising sweet potatoes in one and white half-runner beans in another. Prof. Thomas Vierheller is using the third bed for his fall botany class.
A fourth bed of bush cucumbers was planted by Kristi Kendall of KFTC and Allison Williams and a volunteer group from The Auxier Center of Hand in Hand Ministries. The fifth bed of peppers and zucchini is tended by the Community United Methodist Community Gardeners, Sherry Shepherd, Debbie Reid, Cheryl Sexton and Bonnie Hale and is a “community” effort.
Cheryl grew the pepper plants from seed. Sherry and Bonnie prepared the soil, planted the peppers and zucchini seeds and mulched around the plants to conserve moisture. Sherry devised a water systems using lightweight cart with 5 gallon jugs of water. Debbie joined the effort to help keep the plants watered during the “heat wave”. The women joined the project to grow fresh produce to donate to God’s Food Pantry.
All the food grown at the BSCTC community garden goes to feed the hungry at local food pantries. The garden is a community effort which is supported in part by Grow Appalachia, an outreach education and service project of Berea College.
The project is funded by the generosity of John Paul Dejoria, co-founder and CEO of John Paul Mitchell Systems, Inc. Community members connected to the garden through Appalachian Roots, a grassroots group working for a local foods system in the Floyd County area.