An initial thank you goes out to Kristine Hahn from Michigan State Extension who gave educational support and preparation to the gardening committee to get the youth gardening program started and gave many scoops of information on how to have a successful community garden.
Another preliminary meeting was held at U.S. Department of Agriculture via Michigan State University Extension regarding availability of resources for Jackson County Youth Programs. Attending this meeting was committee members: Deacon Raymond Patton, Reverend and Sister Kirksey, and Trustee and Sister Williams. A follow up meeting is scheduled with the Department of Agriculture. Soil testing for contaminants was done and the land proved to be Okay and free of negative elements.
Now the Carver Camp Youth Garden is up and running! The plot has been selected, ground tilled, weeded, vegetable plants transplanted, and seeds sown. Plowing help was received from Brandon Wilborne, a newly converted youth who recently relocated to Detroit from Chicago, Illinois. He said this experience was completely novel to him and he had never seen it done before. Reverend Lawrence taught him how to use the tiller along with Sister Denise Kirksey and Sister Evelyn Ward. Sister Kirksey advised him to let the tiller pull him instead of pushing it. Sister Ward worked up a sweat while tilling, raking, and planting seeds! Other played their parts in raking, planting, sowing, watering, bringing tools, fetching water, and removing various sizes of rocks from the soil were namely: Sister Georgia Tolbert, Sister Sheila Hutch, Sister Denise Kirksey, and Deacon Raymond Patton. Sister Yuette Hutch was kind enough to write the names of all vegetables planted. The long list included 24 variety namely: tomatoes, squash, purple top turnip greens, brussel sprouts, bell pepper, bush beans, egg plants, kale, spinach, cantaloupe, watermelon, beets, onions, lettuce, broc choi, carrots, snow peas, argula, radishes, shelling peas, white potatoes, red potatoes, and yellow potatoes.
A big 'gracios' goes out to Deacon Harper who felt sorry for the hard-working hungry looking field hands and saved them from the chore of grilling food too! So, his heart led him to purchase Subs of their choices and soft drinks for them.
There is gardening work for all interested through out the summer until harvest time. Youth who have work waiting for them are: Sade' Roy, Ricky Patton, Isaac Patton, Christina Gleaton, Quincy White, McKyle Turner, Ti'anare Edwards, Deja White, Ajanay Bacon, and Keziah Kudowor. Other chores include weeding, watering, planting flowers, extending borders, making signs, grilling hot dogs for the workers. University of Michigan Fraternity Brothers under the leadership of Rhaynald Clay plan to help in the garden along with earning some community work hour credits.