“If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” --Mother Teresa
According to Alabamapossible.org, the poverty rate in Limestone County is nearly 13%. The census bureau lists Limestone County as having 88,845 residents. That means more than 11,000 of our residents are living below the poverty line.
With this in mind, a small group of people had a vision to create a garden maintained by the community with a purpose to provide fresh produce to those in our community suffering from hunger. All food grown at the gardens is given to the Limestone County Churches Involved (LCCI) Food Pantry for distribution.
Over 1,000 hours of volunteer time have been given to plan, prepare the grounds, build the raised beds, create hugelkultur beds and build structures. One thousand hours of sweat and hard work. All freely given, all for the purpose of helping those in need.
Vegetables and fruit-bearing shrubs were planted and a few volunteers, with little experience, began watering, weeding, and caring for the plants. It became evident that we all had much to learn about successful gardening. We have struggled with keeping the beds watered and loss of produce to insects. We are learning as we go, and trying to be as organic as possible in our efforts.
Our planning committee was strong, and the workers to get the gardens up and running were plentiful. We are now calling on our community to help maintain these gardens.
Assistance is needed in helping us find better ways to care for the gardens so they will produce healthy, abundant fruits and vegetables.
We are also in need of volunteers willing to give just 2 hours of time to help water and weed. No experience necessary! Individuals, church groups, youth groups, student groups, or anyone interested in helping provide fresh produce to the Limestone County Churches Involved Food Pantry are encouraged sign up. You pick the date and the time you wish to volunteer. Long-term commitments are not necessary. We'll provide the tools and instructions.
If you are interested in learning more about this project, please email Pamela Hartmann at firstname.lastname@example.org or KALB at KALBCares@gmail.com.
To volunteer, go to www.signupgenius.com and click "Find a Signup". Enter the creator's email address, which is email@example.com. The "Tending the Athens Farmers Market Community Garden" link will come up. The link will take you to the sign up page where you can select a date to volunteer.
We are counting on our community to help us help others. Please consider giving a bit of yourself to others in need. For more information, contact KALB or Spirit of Athens.
By: Lynne Hart