BCCC hosts community garden meeting

Published 8:03 pm Tuesday, January 16, 2018


The frost has passed, and soon it will be time to prepare soils for spring planting. Growing nutritious fruits and vegetables can be far more rewarding when done as a community effort. On Jan. 18, Beaufort County Community College will hold a meeting for those interested in the college’s Healthy Eating community garden initiative.

Since March 2017, Bill Booth has traveled the county with his John Deere tractor, plowing up fields for community gardens. As part of an initiative for a healthier community, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust has funded his position through BCCC to set up community gardens. To date there are three in Washington: one for Vidant Beaufort hospital employees and patients, one for Boys & Girls Club and a set of raised beds at a Washington Housing Authority complex. In addition, there is one in Blounts Creek. Booth is also cultivating and training volunteers who work in 31 private and public gardens in Beaufort County.

In just a short time Booth, whose official title is the healthy eating community outreach coordinator, has developed materials and strategies that will teach people how to manage their own gardens, gather produce, harvest the crops and feed many people.

On March 30, Booth is a kicking off a farmers market consisting of 12 local farmers.

“We’re also going to have participants from across the county to give out resources on healthy living,” said Booth. “The Beaufort County Health Department, BCCC and other resources.”

Through the position, trust the hope is to improve access to nutritional foods and reduce some of the negative health problems affecting county residents. Access to healthy food is often hindered physically, through lack of mobility and transportation, or financially. The position will inspire a community approach to putting fallow spaces into food production and improving health outcomes across Beaufort County.

The Jan. 18 meeting is free to attend. It will take place in Building 10 on BCCC’s campus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with light refreshments served. For more information about the program, contact Bill Booth at 252-940-6280.