Homeless people’s organic garden provides food for shelter residents

By Maria Kyriacou

Homeless people’s organic garden provides food for shelter residents
The spoils of this organic garden go way beyond just food, teaching skills, knowledge and bringing this community together.

Organic gardens have been all the rage, sprouting up on the rooftops of hip inner city cafes for the last few years. Now a homeless shelter has gotten in on the act, bringing healthy food and the joys of reaping what you sow to its residents.

The Atlanta rooftop garden teaches homeless people about cultivating healthy food in an urban environment, while also giving them the satisfaction of feeding fellow residents. The first harvest this spring produced a fantastic result, with approximately 25 kilos of greens.

The goal of the garden is to provide nourishing, fresh food to the residents and the community beyond. The Truly Living Well program sees trainees that are all resident-volunteers at the shelter, building skills through the agricultural programme.

The garden’s 80 beds are flourishing, with small crops of lettuce, collards, kale, chard, carrots, radishes and squash, among other fruits and vegetables sprouting. The rooftop garden’s 1,300 bees pollinate the crops and also produce honey.

Aside from being well fed, participants get to learn competitive job skills that will hopefully help them secure future employment in entrepreneurial farming and marketing. They are also certified to train future participants.

What a wonderful community experience in feeding, learning and sharing.

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