Fulton County Cooperative Extension Helps the Atlanta Mission to Help Others | Print |

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Fulton County Cooperative Extension believes that if you teach a man to plant vegetables, he will have access to healthy food.  On Monday, April 11, 2011, Fulton County Cooperative Extension will teach clients at the Atlanta Mission how to produce food in their raised garden beds. The participants will be involved from the conception of the project to consumption of the produce.

During the planned four hour workshop at the Atlanta Mission facility, future gardeners will learn how to prepare the soil, what to plant, when to plant, how to maintain a garden and when to harvest. 

“This workshop will be taught by Fulton County Cooperative Extension Agents, “states Menia Chester, Director of Fulton County Cooperative Extension.  “We have invited an UGA vegetable production assistant to be present to help participants understand the benefits of locally grown fresh produce.”  Workshop participants will learn that the vegetables they produce will supplement the meals that are prepared in the Mission’s cafeteria.

Fulton County Cooperative Extension has consulted with the Atlanta Mission on soil requirements, garden dimensions, initial set up and design.  “We were certainly willing to assist with this important project,” states Chester.  “In 2010, we helped residents install over 100 raised gardens throughout Fulton County.” 

Cooperative Extension will provide ongoing consultation, diagnostics and educational materials to ensure continued success with the gardens.  An annual training class will be given to new Mission clients once others leave the program to re-enter the workforce.

The Atlanta Mission urban garden consists of 24 raised beds on a 2.36-acre lot in downtown Atlanta at 377 Centennial Olympic Park Drive. In addition to healthy food options, the garden will provide vocational training and therapy to more than 500 homeless and recovering men served daily through the men’s facility.

Fulton County Cooperative Extension hosts monthly classes on topics such as gardening, nutrition, health and fitness, diabetes and financial management. Classes are held in various locations throughout the county.  Phone (404) 332-2400 or log-on to Cooperative Extension for more information.