JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Gone are the weeds and grass. What remains are well mulched and tidy garden beds for the Kids Garden at Findley Oaks Elementary School.
A cloud of volunteers armed with rakes, hoes, wheelbarrows and shovels descended Saturday, Sept. 7 at 9 a.m. to wake up Findley’s dormant Kids Garden from a summer of indolent sleep.
The thanks go to the Findley Oaks PTA, the Whole Foods Kids Foundation, Keep Johns Creek Beautiful and some sweat equity from parents and their kids. They were the ones pulling weeds, sweeping and raking and hauling the big bags of mulch, compost and seeds.
Part of the credit has to go to Whole Foods with its grant programs for school gardens and school salad bars. Whole Foods Marketing Team Leader Andrea Dyson and her store volunteers were there with the seed and the “feed,” providing refreshments and water as well.
“The Whole Kids School Garden Grant Program tries to teach the kids about the whole process of growing the food and getting it to the table. These school gardens give them a chance not only to see the vegetables go from the seed to the table, but to take a part in it,” Dyson said.
With their garden grants, the company helps support and sustain school garden programs, she said.
Debbie Brennan, the education coordinator for Keep Johns Creek Beautiful and a Master Gardener, was on hand surveying the work.
“They are doing a wonderful job. This is a true example of the adage, many hands make light work. There are two shifts of students and parents out here working. In all, there will have been more than 40 students and 30 parents who signed up out here working,” Brennan said.
Wendy Haye, who runs the PTA Outdoor Discovery program, said she was ecstatic to see this hive of activity.
“It’s an eight-week program in gardening for the first grade. We don’t usually have all this help,” Haye said.