City officials and GSU students gathered around Maple Street in Grambling recently to create a garden. The volunteers planted squash, cucumbers, watermelon, onions, tomatoes, and hot cayenne peppers.
Some students were just learning to plant, while others were not at all strangers to gardening.
The site the garden sits on not too long ago was filled with trailers and mobile homes, but the city and university worked together to clean up the area.
Those who served as mentors and instructors for volunteers were the Rev. Kenny South, John McCarty and Dr. Rory Bedford.
Not only did the students have a great time sifting mud, fertilizing plants and mingling with peers, they were also completing school-related requirements. Dr. Bedford rewarded each student with service-learning hours required by the university as they contributed to the project.
Students and city officials are anticipating the products of their work, but it will be weeks, even months, before they see any results.
During the wait for harvest time, the city will care for the garden by keeping it watered and weeded.
When the fresh fruits and vegetables are finally harvested, they will be transported to City Hall, where they will be distributed.
Dr. Ellen Smiley, executive assistant to Dr. Frank G. Pogue, Grambling State president, will all be in charge of maintaining the garden.
Dr. Bedford expressed appreciation for all of the help that he received from the public with this project. He tipped his hat to the city workers because they offered a helping-hand. Public works personnel who contributed included: Damion Ford, Anaie Smith, James Gibson Jr. and Anthony Hill.
“If it had not been for the city officials, we would not have had anything to work with,” Dr. Bedford said.
It took city officials about a month to completely clean out all of the debris, trash and remnants left from the trailers to make the land ready for gardening.
Grambling’s Community Garden is soon to become a booming success and everyone has high-hopes and expectations about the progress of the garden.