GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A lot of people like to garden and grow vegetables, but most of us can’t grow more than 8,000 pounds worth of produce in a couple months.
More than 20 different fruits and vegetables are grown on a half-acre plot of land that CASA Gardens operates and all of the produce they grow is then given to seniors for free.
“We started early in the spring with cabbage, we had 4 varieties of cabbage that’s all been harvested and distributed, we moved into tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, little bit of everything,” said gardener Tom Andress.
For Andress, working the garden is a labor of love. Before picking any of the vegetables as a volunteer, all of the gardners must pass a class to make sure they have a green thumb.
“You have to go through a 50 hour training program, which is stretched over 10 weeks and after we complete the class, we have to give 50 hours of volunteer time to get certified as a master gardener,” said Andress.
All of the volunteers hard work pays off. Not only have they picked more than 8,000 pounds of produce, the small garden won a big award.
“They actually won the state award for the most prolific Garden. That’s the most pounds out of a small space,” said executive director Shirley Holland.
All of the plants in the garden started with a seed and it ends up feeding a lot of people throughout Marshall County.
“Close to 200 seniors benefit from this garden monthly and that’s for the five major cities in Marshall County,” said volunteer Nikki Mosley.
There are 45 volunteers that work here at CASA that help grow some of this fresh produce and also deliver the fresh produce right to the door of the seniors that received it.