The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Community

April 9, 2009

Garden offers organic vegetables

Community-supported agriculture project promotes recover, success

ANDERSON — Looking for locally grown vegetables with no hint of pesticides? Enjoy the atmosphere of a farmer’s market? Time is running out to become a shareholder in Anderson’s own community garden.

Seedlings are already in the ground of the Community Supported Agriculture farm operated by the Center for Mental Health (CMH).

Responses were so positive after the pilot season last year that the organization decided to expand the program this year.

“We thought the idea of a pesticide-free, organically-grown, locally-produced produce was a good thing,” said Randy Titus, a returning shareholder from last year. “We like knowing where the food comes from and that they are not using pesticides. And they had some different varieties of vegetables that we couldn’t find in a grocery store or local market.”

“I am interested in sustainable and green practices anyway,” said Nelly Devault, another returning shareholder. “I have two kids and find it a challenge to incorporate vegetables into our diet, and I felt like this would help force me to use the wonderful produce that we were going to get. I think it’s a great thing for the community.”

Not only were the responses from shareholders positive, but the program was so successful that CMH received a national award for the project. The 2009 Award of Excellence in Community Collaboration was presented on April 7 by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare in San Antonio, Texas.

“The program developed by the Center for Mental Health in Anderson is unique. This project provides comprehensive and community-based services, promoting recovery, and gives people hope for personal success,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare in a press release. “This ground-breaking project is cost-effective and could be easily replicated across many rural or urban settings.”

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