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Making a difference: A simple garden’s gift at Faulkner University


Faulkner University staff member Dean Itson’s labor in the campus garden yields bountiful results for the residents of a nearby apartment complex. (Photo by Laura Cauthen)

WSFA in Montgomery, Ala., reports:

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – On the backside of Faulkner University there is a garden, and it was Dennis Itson’s idea. “It really feels good,” said Itson.
Feels good because the garden has done so well. The area used to be nothing but grass. Today, it’s a healthy, living, vibrant garden, all done two months ago.
“We have cucumbers, squash, okra, sweet corn, tomatoes and peppers,” said Itson.
More than 30 university students worked on the garden. They started from the scratch. So far it’s fed some 50 elderly residents in the Elizabeth Wright Apartment complex nearby. The assignment initially started out as a required community service project.

See the full report and video.
More details from a Faulkner news release:

A patch of ground less than an acre is serving up more than just fresh veggies on the Faulkner campus.
The campus garden is serving a multitude of functions that includes being an outdoor classroom. But its primary function is to provide fresh veggies to the low–income elderly at the adjacent retirement complex on the Faulkner campus.
According to Dennis Itson, director of service learning at Faulkner, the garden, which was planted in May, has already yielded enough vegetables to feed 30 people. As a result the Faulkner garden is registered on the Alabama Poverty Project registry for providing food for the needy within the Montgomery community and the American Community Garden Association registry
“We are trying to connect with these residents by working in the garden together and offering them healthy food as a part of their diets,” said Itson of the campus garden, which is also attracting the residents as gardeners too.
Additionally, the Faulkner garden is also serving other purposes including functioning as an outdoor classroom. So far two elementary science classes have toured the garden, and this fall, the science and education departments at Faulkner will be using the garden to enhance their own areas of curriculum like serving as a biology lab where each class will test the soil, pick the fruit and harvest the seeds for study.
Primarily, however, the garden is offering students, faculty and staff on campus the opportunity to serve others by growing and distributing food. This summer the faculty, staff and students have tiled the ground, planted, pulled weeds and harvested and delivered the first fruits to the elderly. Itson expressed the satisfaction of helping others through the venture.
“We are excited what the future might hold for us in teaching, learning, growing and sharing these experiences together.”

  • Feedback
    What a wonderful project. What an uplifting story.
    Anita Johnson
    August, 11 2011

Filed under: News Extras News Links

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