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4-H program teaching kids how to grow fresh food

This is the fourth in a series of articles about the Davie Community Foundation and its work.

The Davie Community Foundation accepts grant requests through its Community Grants cycle for projects that make a positive impact in Davie County.

Applications are due Feb. 1. In 2021, the foundation awarded $236,779 to agencies and non-profit groups.

One of the community grants awarded has been very exciting to watch grow. 4-Hers planted gardens all over Davie County. These gardens offer educational opportunities for youth in the community and help provide fresh produce for families in need.

Foundation staff, board members and their families enjoyed a tour of the teaching garden in Farmington, tucked between the Johnson House and Herbal Accents. They were welcomed by 4-H Extension Agent, Danny Lough, members of the Thimbles n’ Thyme 4-H Homesteading Club and the owner of Herbal Accents, Laura Mathis, for a tour. Mathis has been an important partner in keeping the garden watered and growing.

Looking at the 6-foot-tall rows of corn, ripening tomatoes, cucumbers on the vine and baby watermelons in the making, it’s hard to imagine that just a few months ago there were cows grazing there.

The 4-Hers have had the opportunity to learn about what it takes to build a garden from scratch; they’ve participated in every step along the way from the design phase to the hard work of clearing, tilling, planting and maintaining the garden. They showed off their harvest for the day, a basket full of tomatoes, green beans and peppers.

The kids aren’t just learning about growing a garden. The produce harvested is being donated to A Storehouse for Jesus in Mocksville to be distributed to families in need.

“We think this grant is a win-win as children learn about growing their own food and learn about helping others in their community,” said Jessica Yarbrough, foundation board member. “We are excited to support this project and the garden at The Bridge in Cooleemee. I am looking forward to the day when my children can participate.”