Article provided by Pauline Stokes, Extension Agent and new member of the Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors-
Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce member Lowe's is tackling a new project called “Feeding the Community”, which is aiming to help restore the Farmville community garden. The “Feeding the Community” project is part of the Lowe’s Heroes program, a broader company initiative designed to help repair local communities through in-kind donations and volunteer work.
Spearheading this project through Lowe’s is Bryan Harrington, one of the Farmville store managers. The issue of the community gardens and their need for restoration was brought to his attention by Pauline Stokes, Virginia Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Science (FCS) SNAP-Ed Extension Agent. This program is funded by USDA through the Virginia Department of Social Services (who administers SNAP, formerly food stamps). She is the key leader of this project.
Harrington’s initial plans for enhancing the garden include constructing an enclosure that will help catch rain water and irrigate the plants, as well as building handicap accessible raised beds. Harrington hopes the program will not only help feed the community, but also unite the community. “If people are growing plants in a community garden together, they will be able to learn helpful tips from each other and this will only make the garden better,” said Harrington when asked about the goals of the project. Harrington and Stokes have big dreams for the garden so this might be a multi-year project.
:I am so excited about this project and the partnership with Lowe’s. We were in need of help and Lowes came to the rescue," said Stokes.
Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity donated the land for the use of a community garden. An old Chinese proverb states “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” The strategy and sustainability plan for Farmville Community Garden and Prince Edward County Extension is to provide a place to learn about organic gardening and sustainable living. People not only learn about gardening but they also acquire other knowledge and skills. So this community garden is seen as an outdoor learning, a caring and growing project that constitute a holistic approach to issues of a healthy environment and community cohesion.