During the 1990’s MGVOCC maintained a Demonstration Vegetable Garden located on County Services Road. In 1999 this group changed their garden focus and name to a Plant A Row for the Hungry project under the banner and guidance of The Garden Writers Association program of gardeners growing and donating produce to help feed America’s hungry. In 2006 the PAR garden was relocated to Kennesaw’s Smith-Gilbert Botanical Garden. With Smith- Gilbert’s 13 acres, ready water supply, resources, and encouragement the garden flourished, supplying 3,000 lbs of produce for the hungry in the 2011 growing season alone.
However, for the 2012 season MGVOCC was forced to relocate again because Smith-Gilbert needed the garden space for a new project of its own. The timing was perfect as MGVOCC was able to partner with Fountain Gate Life and Wellness as one of the founding stake holders in development and construction of Fountain Gate’s ambitious and well conceived project – Fountain Gate Gardens.
The objective of this four acre community garden is to use gardening and the garden’s planned facilities for their therapeutic benefits, to provide a location for the PAR garden, and to offer Cobb County Master Gardener gardening centered educational programs for community gardeners and for the general public. These programs are conducted in the garden center piece, a renovated 1880’s homestead.
With a new 5,000sqft garden, well laid out garden beds fortified with many tons of mushroom compost, well mulched pathways with a purpose, brand new tools and tool shed, MGVOCC gardeners began the 2012 season with new enthusiasm and high hopes for the future of donating fruits of their efforts to Cobb County Center for Family Resources.
The PAR garden leaders and other volunteers all enjoy the fun of gardening, the learning experiences and fellowship it provides and the overall satisfaction of providing food for those who really need and appreciate it. As Fountain Gate Gardens develops, Master Gardeners will also have the opportunity to participate in the planning of the complete community gardening area, children’s garden, walking trails, and other garden features, and facilities. The past was great, but the future is indeed brighter yet for MGVOCC and their Plant A Row for the Hungry project.
We finished this year at 3,703 lbs., which is over 1,000 lbs. more than 2015 totals!