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Students help spruce up Storehouse Deep Roots garden

The Deep Roots Community Garden at A Storehouse for Jesus got a fall facelift at the hands of 10 volunteers from Davie High School on  Nov 14.

Jesse Ledbetter, agricultural sciences teacher, invited Davie High CTE and STEM students to join him for the afternoon to harvest remaining produce and work on a thorough fall clean-up.

  Students harvested more than 30 pounds of peppers that the Storehouse distributed to clients. They also pulled weeds, raked beds, applied organic fertilizer, and covered everything with straw.

Jarret Barnes, Bailey Dyson, Zane Dyson, Nathan Haskin, Grayson Haynes, Sophia Heagle, Josh Pilcher, Gabby Thompson, Cole West and Kasey Williford participated.

Most students are or have been in Ledbetter’s classes and his Future Farmers of America club, but three were new to the experience.

Bailey Dyson said:  “Working at the garden brightens my day because it is refreshing, fun, and I know it’s for a good cause. I volunteer because I am blessed with what I have and enjoy blessing others through my work.”

“I really enjoyed working in the community garden at the Storehouse for Jesus,” said Gabby Thompson. “We picked fresh peppers and got the garden beds ready for next spring. We bagged the peppers and took them inside the Storehouse for them to be given to the clients.  It was neat to see that kids my age can make a difference in our community.”

Grayson Haynes said: “I had participated in canned food drives for Storehouse for Jesus, but I didn’t know that Storehouse had a community garden until I saw the volunteer opportunity through Stem Center. I was happy to help clean up and winterize the garden, and we had fun in the process.”

The Deep Roots community garden was established in 2013.  This season, it produced more than 1,500 pounds of fresh produce.

Dianne Salmon, Deep Roots coordinator, said that she was impressed with how much the students accomplished and that she feels happy to see young people so enthusiastic about growing things.

Ledbetter’s FFA students volunteer weekly throughout the summer maintaining the garden and experimenting with planting everything from peanuts to peppers.

“Volunteering in the garden provides a great opportunity for students to enrich their lives;  they develop team-building and problem solving skills, and they learn a lot in the process,” Ledbetter said.