Students, their families, and teachers from Warren County High School, Early College, New Tech, and Northside all worked together alongside community members to refurbish and beautify the garden. At the end of the workday, volunteers had built a hand washing station and several new raised beds in the garden, created colorful garden art projects, planted vegetable seeds for the greenhouse, and helped with general clean-up tasks like weeding and raking.
Now the garden is ready for students to plant, grow, and eat various fruits and vegetables. The produce is used for nutrition education in their classes. Several students new to the garden are now encouraged to continue volunteering with the project and to learn more about gardening.
The event was coordinated by Caroline Stover, Warren County’s FoodCorps Service Member. “The event served as an opportunity for our community to come together to volunteer in the garden and see what teachers and students have been working on,” she said. “Students here want to show the community how they have learned to grow their own food and prepare it in healthy ways.”
After four hours of work, volunteers enjoyed a fresh meal prepared by volunteer Michael Ring. Ring added arugula and kale straight from the garden to his chicken salad sandwiches to feed the volunteers. “I like the idea of eating traditional southern foods and combining that with whatever is fresh right out of the garden, because vegetables are crisper, more flavorful, and more nutritious that way.”
Coffee, cider, and delicious muffins were donated by FoodWorks Café in Warrenton for the volunteer breakfast. The rest of the meal was provided by donations from Main Street Produce in Littleton, Deborah Phillip, and Food Lion.