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Garden plots grow Golden Harvest's mission

Posted: May 13, 2012 - 12:15am
Special Photo   Ginny Allen waters the garden plots at the Masters Table Soup Kitchen in Augusta. Ginny is spearheading the project which provides fresh produce for Golden Harvest Food Bank.
Special Photo Ginny Allen waters the garden plots at the Masters Table Soup Kitchen in Augusta. Ginny is spearheading the project which provides fresh produce for Golden Harvest Food Bank.

When the new Master’s Table Soup Kitchen was built more than a year ago, architects planned for a garden on the grounds. That has now come to fruition with 32 plots planted with vegetables.

The 10-foot by 4-foot beds are already coming to life with seasonal vegetables that will be used in meals prepared at the soup kitchen operated by Golden Harvest Food Bank.

“We are really excited to put these fresh vegetables into food we serve down here,” said Gold Harvest Executive Director Travis McNeal.

Excess food will be distributed to guests of the soup kitchen, or trucked to the distribution center at Golden Harvest for use by those in need.

Currently, just six of the plots have been sponsored. Sponsorship of a plot involves a monetary contribution from an individual, group or business. Sponsorship does not necessarily bind the sponsor to maintaining the plot, but maintenance of the plots is also needed.

The Master’s Table Soup Kitchen serves more than 300 people each day, McNeal said. Golden Harvest serves about 800,000 families in 19 counties in Georgia and 11 counties in South Carolina.

During the past two years, the soup kitchen has worked to become fully operational and the implementation of the garden plots moves it toward its goal of being able to provide hearty, healthy meals to those in need.

Under the guidance of master gardeners Mary Louise Hagler and Ginny Allen, the real work started.

Bricko Farms, Martin Marietta, Skinner Farms and other local businesses donated supplies for the area, including gravel, landscaping supplies and treated timber. Seeds and plants were also donated for the plots.

“We wanted to get the vegetable seeds donated by Nurseries Caroliniana last fall into the ground,” said Allen. “Mary Louise had a contact who started some tomatoes and peppers for us, and Mike Scarce also started tomatoes for us.”

Centerpieces from the Augusta Council of Garden Club’s annual spring luncheon included vegetable plants that were planted in the garden.

Individuals interested in being a part of the community project are invited to contact McNeal at (706) 736-1199 or at tmcneal@goldenharvest.org.

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