TIFTON — The Mims Kids 2020 Community Gardening and Wellness Project received a grant from the Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation.

The Mims Kids Community Gardening and Wellness Project was established in 2018 as a collaborative effort between Collins Event Space, Mims Kids, Inc., Tift Regional Medical Center Medical Executive Committee, local farmers and the Tift County Extension Office.

The project involved introducing students to community gardening through the use of raised garden beds on property donated by Collins Event Space.

During the first year more than 50 youth participated and learned how to prepare the soil, plant crops, tend crops and harvest crops. The youth planted and harvested onions, cucumbers, kale, carrots, tomatoes, green beans and okra.

The program was expanded in 2019 to include a weeklong summer Community Gardening and Wellness Camp. The camp was directed by Penny Peters and M. Jay Hall, Mims Kids executive director. Thirteen youth between the ages of seven and thirteen participated.

The camp featured hands-on classes in preparing soil, planting crops and tending the garden. Students also learned how to prepare healthy snacks, how to recycle reusable items and how to get proper exercise and rest.  

The students visited Ray Taylor farms, The Georgia Museum of Agriculture and the Tift County Canning Plant, where they were able to make vegetable soup, can it and take some home to share.

The Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation grant will allow the expansion of the Mims Kids Community Gardening and Wellness Camp to two weeks and provide an additional fifteen students with the opportunity to attend.

The Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation was founded in 1960 and seeks to enhance the community and to promote the entrepreneurial spirit that Harley Langdale, Jr. exhibited throughout his life. The foundation, located in Valdosta, Georgia, provides funding to organizations in the areas of education, health, health care, religion, youth and community development.

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