Old Richmond Elementary School Gardeners Enjoy “Carrot Day”

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"Carrot Day" at Old Richmond Elementary School

“Carrot Day” at Old Richmond Elementary School

Welcome to our Reap More Than You Sow blog.

This local community gardening initiative continues to grow as funds allow and is being recognized as a significant influence in the lives of individuals and families in our communities and schools.  One of the many exciting things that Reap More is doing involves working with area schools to establish and utilize a school garden.  The RMTYS initiative now includes over twenty area gardens of which six are school gardens.

Old Richmond Elementary School recently held “carrot day” with over sixty students participating in this after school activity.  The students sampled “carrot smoothies” and “carrot cake” in their meeting.  Then all students went outside to the garden and each student pulled two fresh carrots to take home and enjoy.  In addition, the students built two scare crows for their garden.

This is just an one example of the many benefits of a school garden.  Students are engaged, learning about growing their own food, working together, enjoying the outdoors, connecting with nature, and trying new fresh vegetables.  Congratulations and “hats off” to the Old Richmond teachers, parents, and students who are making a difference.   RMTYS is proud to be a partner with this effort.

RMTYS is a local non-profit, based in Winston-Salem, to facilitate the establishment and maintenance of  community and school gardens.  Our RMTYS gardens are providing hands-on learning, recreation, exercise, aesthetics, community achievement and pride, education, fellowship, ecotherapy and of course vegetables, fruits and flowers to enrich the lives of those involved.  In addition to feeding ourselves, many people at the food charities have received several thousand pounds of extra fresh, natural and nutritious produce. (We operate on a “zero waste” policy.)  It really doesn’t get much better!

We had four charter gardens in 2010 and have now grown to over twenty community and school gardens in the area reaching from south Winston  to King and from Advance to Walnut Cove.   This year, the RMTYS gardens produced over 11,500 pounds of fresh produce of which 8,210 pounds were donated to local food banks and pantries.  What an incredible achievement!

We have ambitious plans and would like to see this project spread to new communities, neighborhoods, churches, and schools:  involving more people, enabling families to grow their own food, and giving back in all the ways you can imagine. These plans are greatly dependent on our fundraising success, and this is a priority for us. As a priority, we are seeking to raise sufficient funds to sustain operations through 2013 until our major fundraising activity and program roll out gets underway.  Your donations are used wisely and benefit numerous individuals and families.  We are helping people to help themselves!  It is a “win-win” situation!

This is a great opportunity to say a huge ‘Thank You’ to all our sponsors, donors, helpers, participants, gardeners and everyone who has made all this possible with their efforts. You should be proud at your achievements. Well done and please keep sowing. 

We kindly invite you to become a part of this exciting and worthwhile endeavor.

Andrew Hebard                                                                       Wallace Williamson
Co-Founder of Reap More Than You Sow                          Coordinator of Reap More Than You Sow

Winter – time to plan and dream of spring gardening!

  RMTYS Hillsdale Baptist Church Community Garden  -   Advance

Reap More Than  You Sow community gardens exist in all sizes and types.  Some are as large as 1 acre “ in-ground gardens”  at Pfafftown Christian Church community garden and some are small “raised bed gardens” with as few as three raised beds like the King – YMCA garden.  The Pinedale Christian Church Community Garden consists of 19 raised beds while the Rural Hall Community Garden with 44 raised beds is one of the largest raised beds gardens in the Piedmont.

Many plots in our community gardens are still producing from fall cool weather crops that were planted in Aug. and Sept.  With the occasional use of row covers and other frost protection methods, the fall season can be extended well into the winter.  Having some fresh mid-winter vegetables such as greens, collards, broccoli, spinach, onions, or Swiss chard can be a real treat from the grocery store produce.

If being a part of a community garden sounds appealing to you, please visit our contact page at this website.  In addition to the wonderful produce gardeners harvest, “community” is an important half of the term “community gardening”.  There are many social activities centered around each community garden.