Program teaches youths to grow vegetables organically
By: Lisa Esquivel Long of the News Sentinel
(See original Story here: http://www.news-sentinel.com/living/food/blue_jacket_holding_garden_produce_sale_20170830?profile=1016)
Blue Jacket will hold its last produce market of the season 10 a.m.-5 p.m. today and Thursday to benefit the juvenile-based gardening program. The sale will be in the Blue Jacket Clothing Co. at 2826 S. Calhoun St.
Sales from the raised garden beds' produce so far have raised over $1,036, which goes back into maintenance of the gardens and could be used to buy other lots adjacent to the property, according to a news release.
The gardens have been nourishing more than bodies.
Tony Hudson, Blue Jacket executive director, said in a news release, "This summer, the blessings were not the bumper crop from the community-based garden that lauds its use of organic methods to grow the vegetables. The blessings were to the people who worked the dirt, who learned and who taught how to maintain this urban farm at the Blue Jacket campus. Some older youth encountering trouble in their lives were matched with two gardening experts to learn the ins and outs of urban gardening, but they walked away with ownership and a work ethic that inspired the partnership."
The youth looked forward to getting their hands dirty and even horticultural principles, according to Hudson. Some said they would like such jobs, and someday Blue Jacket might be able to pay a wage as the youth in the program learn, Hudson said in the news release.
The program is a partnership with the Allen County Juvenile Probation Department, Advanced Master Gardener Sheila Hudson, and Carrie Duke.
Blue Jacket provides education, training and opportunities to any disadvantaged person seeking a job. The clothing program sells professional attire for $5 or less per item.
For more on Blue Jacket, see www.bluejacketinc.org or call 744-1900.