The Girl Scout Community Garden Cultivating a brighter and healthier tomorrow

Girl Scouts involved in Friendship House garden project included Jaden Monseglio, Madison Martin, Ava Williams, Eva Spooner, Julia Cross, Arabella Touchton, Chloi Miller, Leanne Pollock, Donnie Boyd and Haley Wilson. Scout parents who have helped in garden included Kelly Monseglio, Stephanie Cross, Jo Nell Fain and Nicole Touchton.

Written by: Girl Scouts Madison Martin, Arabella Touchton, Eva Spooner, Chloi Miller, and Julia Cross

We are Girl Scout Cadettes from Troop 40310 of Seminole County and we’d like to tell you about a community service project we began this Summer.

About a year and half ago we made the decision to start a community garden for Seminole County. The purpose of this garden would be to bring the people of our community closer together, grow local, organic food for citizens, and to educate others about growing and eating healthy food. This project would also help our troop to earn the Girl Scout Silver Award, which is the highest award that a Girl Scout Cadette can earn. For the garden location, Mr. Justin Gravlee generously offered the campus of the Friendship House of Donalsonville. This was a great way for us to collaborate with the students of Friendship House in growing a garden while also beautifying their campus.

To begin this project, we researched some nearby community gardens and visited a few. One of the gardens we’ve visited is Aunt Katie’s Garden in Dothan, Alabama. They gave us a great tour and provided lots of info about their garden and all the local organizations they collaborate with. They help local groups grow their own healthy food. The Havana Community Garden in Florida also gave us a tour and let us take home some of their produce. We learned that gardens help bring communities closer together and make them healthier. They also beautify the community.

The official start of our troop’s garden was in May of this year. We were able to start the garden when Mr. Steve Cross generously donated wood for four raised-bed garden plots. We had a load of soil donated from Mike Floyd Paving & Excavating of Bainbridge. Before we could plant anything, we had to weed and fill the plots with clean soil. Generous local businesses, such as Ace Hardware, Alf’s Home & Garden, Seminole Building Supply and Stone’s Home Center, donated plants and garden tools. So far, we have planted tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, and sweet potatoes with the help of the Friendship House students. We also planted broccoli seeds this month.

In the future, we plan to add more plots and plants. Some possibilities are to have a type of farmer’s market where we sell all the fresh fruits and veggies that we grow in the garden. Also, people of the community might be able to have their own plots and help with maintenance. We are hoping to have a shed for supplies and garden tools. We’ll need sprinklers to hydrate the plants. A flower garden is also a possibility so that people of the community can come sit and enjoy the beauty. We’d like to introduce art into the garden by adding colorful benches and picnic tables. We hope to have a beautifully painted sign introducing our garden. Another idea is a butterfly garden or even a small fishpond with a food station for children and adults to enjoy feeding the fish. It would also be nice to have shade trees.

Last, but not least, Girl Scout Troop 40310 would like to thank our donors that have helped make this garden a reality, including: Steve Cross, Mike Floyd, Ace Hardware, Seminole Building Supply, Stone’s Home Center, Alf’s Farm & Garden, and Seminole Pole Inc. We are still courteously accepting donations. Some things that we need are planting containers, lumber, irrigation supplies, and new or used garden tools. Sponsorships are also an option. All donors will be recognized with signage at our garden.

For more information on the garden, how to make a donation, or how to become involved with Girl Scouts contact Troop Leader Nicole Touchton at (229)-254-3371 or nikkiptouchton@gmail.com.

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