We have three important outcomes/results we would like to report:
1. Our communities access to quality fresh foods have increased, not only on the level of the youth
involved in the Boys and Girls Club, but on the level of it impacting elders in the home and community
members in their homes.
2. We have seen a remarkable increase in the amount of youth, elders, and community members
wanting to be a part of the community gardening project. Seeking their input throughout the process has
created 'buy-in' from the community to participate and become a part of healthy eating and living.
3. We have been able to increase our members academic and career interests in science, technology,
engineering, and math (STEM). Creating sessions for our youth and community in an educationally
appropriate and meaningful way has allowed us to educate our youth and community through fun and
hands-on activities. Youth and members are responsible for their own gardening plots under the guidance
of two experienced coordinators.
What challenges did or does your project face?
The rainy season we experienced some time ago when were first starting the project in the spring and
the sudden outburst of a hail storm in June, halted us a bit at first. Many sensitive crops such as
cucumbers suffered significant damage.
We were also expecting volunteers from the local community college across the street from us, but the college did not follow through.
How are you working to overcome them?
We were able to work with the community in replanting and reseeding some crops and following through with our project. Myself and one other volunteer did most of the work in setting up the garden without the help of additional volunteers. We were able to get youth Club members to help out after school, which was actually very important because they became more invested in the garden.
What did you or your project learn this season that might be useful to others as well?
I would have advertised at the local University to recruit garden volunteers and attempted to set up our site as a Food Corps service site for this summer. I am currently working on both for next year.
Attached is a picture of the part of the garden with raised beds. We also planted crops in the ground and established a small fruit and berry orchard next to it.