PICKENS – A bare spot behind the Pickens Senior Center soon will bear vegetables and herbs for the center’s kitchen, thanks to a project that brought in a different set of seniors – students from the Pickens County Career and Technology Center.
Senior horticulture and animal science students helped to build raised beds and provided greenhouse plants for the garden. The result will please chief cook Debbie Galloway and quite a few Senior Center regulars.
“We’ll have fresh vegetables for our meals and we’ll also have classes on canning and preserving vegetables and drying herbs,” said Galloway, a member of the Senior Center board. “We’ll have peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and in the fall we’ll have greens.”
Senior Center member Doyle Dorsey said gardening and canning rose to the top when the center surveyed participants about activities they would like to see offered. Board member Betty McDaniel contacted Gillian Black, horticulture teacher and FFA advisor at the Career Center, about partnering.
“This will be an ongoing project,” Black said. “It is good hands-on experience for the students, whether they major in horticulture in college, go to work for a landscaping company, or whatever they decide to do. And one of the components of FFA is community service.”
The students grew the plants from seeds in the Career Center’s greenhouse. At a dollar apiece, the plants were a bargain for the Senior Center, and the proceeds will support the Career Center’s horticulture program.
Master gardener Dale Harwood, a Senior Center volunteer, shared his expertise in designing the garden’s raised beds, and provided mushroom compost for the beds.