SHAMROCK — The Appalachian Center for Equality, a program of the American Friends Service Committee, has planted a community garden at the Shamrock Freewill Baptist Church again this year.
Using seeds donated by the Logan County Farmer’s Market and the hard work of students from Logan High School and Sandy Spring Friends School in Sandy Spring, Md., everything from okra, peas, beans, potatoes, kale, beets, onions, sunflowers and cabbage have been planted.
The students from Logan High School are participants in the Appalachian Center for Equality’s mentoring program, which urges students to be active leaders in their community and to obtain higher education. During a week in March, students both from the Logan mentoring program and from countries around the world who attend the Sandy Spring Friends School worked together tilling the soil, weeding the beds, and planting and watering seeds.
Young children from the Head Start program at Logan PRIDE visited the garden and were taught by the high school students how to plant and water.
With the rising cost of food and an emphasis being placed on healthier eating, the community garden project seeks to educate people both young and old alike about the physical and economic benefits of growing food locally.
“In today’s world of Facebook and the internet, it’s very rewarding for young people to spend time outside working and planting in the soil,” says Lida Shepherd, director of the Appalachian Center for Equality, “They come away with a sense of accomplishment and greater appreciation of where food comes from. Come harvest time, we hope they’ll appreciate eating the healthy food they grow.”
When the vegetables are ready to harvest, the program plans to have a community potluck with live music and fresh food made with ingredients from the garden.
The Appalachian Center for Equality welcomes other community members and organizations to be a part of the work and fun in the garden. If anyone is interested in adopting a bed for their family, church, or group, contact Lida Shepherd at 304-343-7177.