Community garden

From left, Kavion Young, Jaquarius Jones, Kenderick Cox (partially hidden), Jaidon Buckley, and Calvin Nichols work in the community garden.  Middle school and high school students have been learning where food comes from and how to cultivate it.

Middle and high school students in Leflore County have had  a chance to develop their green thumbs by participating in a community garden project.

The project, dubbed Reap What You Sow, is headed by Here We Stand Inc., a community outreach organization that provides mentoring programs for students.

Kenderick Cox, chief executive director of the group and a Greenwood Middle School teacher, said the mission of the project is to teach kids how to be entrepreneurs through agriculture by cultivating the land and then harvesting the produce.

Nick Onyshko, a mentor of the group who also teaches at Greenwood Middle School, said the project lets the students know where the food they eat comes from.

The group made headlines late last month when the students and the

mentors were featured in an article by the  Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting. The article, which was distributed to newspapers across the state, focused on what people are doing to keep kids on the right path.

Originally, the city of Greenwood allowed the group to use a plot of land along the 500 block of Linden Avenue for the garden, with Greenwood Utilities assisting to install the water.

Community garden

Students of the Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School District show off the plants they grew and harvested from their community garden. From left are Jaquarius Jones, Kavion Young, Jaidon Buckley, Calvin Nichols and Jerry Head.

On three separate occasions, the grounds of the garden were sabotaged, Cox said.  The land was flooded and the vegetables ripped from the ground.

The garden was relocated to a plot on private land in the Browning Community, where it will be more secure. The location  was offered by a supporter of the group, Onyshko said.

A variety of produce items, such as summer squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes and cucumbers, have been grown, Cox said. The produce has been donated to people throughout the community as well as to the Community Food Pantry.

Over 30 students have participated in the project. They tilled the garden, planted the vegetables, watered them and harvested them.   

The produce has been harvested twice, once at the end of July and once in mid-August. A third harvest is coming up, Cox said.  

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

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