Live Well Alabama
Brandalyn Clark is paving the road for a thriving community garden at the Scottsboro Housing Authority in Jackson County.
Clark, who is the SNAP-Ed educator in Jackson County, uses her knowledge of gardening obtained through her horticulture degrees and her passion for helping individuals grow their own vegetables, to assist the Scottsboro Housing Authority and educate residents on the many benefits of gardening. There she has begun the process of starting raised garden beds.
“The residents, as well as the faculty, were extremely excited to start a garden,” Clark said.
Working with Volunteers
Clark said she initiated the process by working with volunteers to construct three raised beds in the housing authority’s courtyard. To ensure planting at the correct time of year, the raised beds were quickly built, which enabled the newly planted vegetables the best opportunity for adequate growth. With all of the laborious work behind them, Clark and the residents are patiently awaiting harvest season.
“The entire process has been fun so far,” Clark said. “I love the fact of working with residents of all ages. Growing and maintaining the garden is only part of the endeavor. I look forward to getting the residents excited about what they can grow and delivering nutrition education. Hopefully, they will adopt healthy habits and share their experience with others.”
The garden will be maintained by the housing authority, but Clark said she will be around to provide education and advice about how to proceed. She knew that she couldn’t simply mention starting a community garden without helping them get it “off the ground.”
“If you throw out the idea about starting a garden but don’t initiate the project, it will not work,” Clark said. “People want to hear that you are there to help them, so I figured that if I got them excited about the project by making the first few steps — once they saw the progress being made — it would give them an incentive.”
To find more success stories about SNAP-Ed educators, visit LiveWellAlabama.com.