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December 19, 2014

Community garden launched with help from Harvest Center Group

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Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2014 11:56 pm

The Harvest Center Group of Talladega issued an update on half a dozen different projects, including a recently launched community garden.

The non-profit corporation housed in the B.N. Mabra Center in Talladega offers a variety of classes for all ages. The update covers the period between January and May, and covers adult computer classes, Rural Development Grant house repairs, on-site back-to-work training, farm-to-business classes, middle and high school youth tutoring and the community garden project.

The computer classes were offered in the mornings and evenings, with a total of 20 class participants. “Individuals who completed all phases of the classes will graduate (May 2015) at the (second) annual graduation event,” according to the release.

Regarding the house repair grants, the release says 10 were written for individual home repairs, while seven more are in the process. These individuals “will live in safer environments,” it says.

On-site back-to-work training helped three individuals, with all three placed in jobs afterward.

The farm-to-business classes were developed at the center, and had six participants. These people met with and discussed doing business with managers from Wal-Mart and Piggly Wiggly.

“Two companies are starting businesses, obtaining business licenses and adding to local tax revenue,” the release said.

Some 10 children participated in tutoring programs for troubled youth, with three returning to school and six getting summer jobs to “learn farming and earn wages. The program is under review,” the release says.

Under the last project, “youth and the community worked together to plan a community garden from the seeds provided by the (U.S. Department of Agriculture). Youth and community learned about producing healthy meals and learned how to cultivate a garden (and) increase community involvement.”

Montgomery Farms, an FTB class participant, provided internships, and Ace Hardware provided the tools. Seeds were provided by Eddie May, executive director of Coosa Valley Research Conservation and Development Council. Center administrator Robert Marshall, executive director Ann D. Spell and rural development specialist Jimmy Whitson also worked closely with the young people involved to make the garden a reality and continue to maintain it.

Jim Jackson donated untold hours plowing, replowing and pulling weeds, the release said.

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