2020 was the first year for SeedFork of the Highlands community garden on Jefferson Avenue and there are already plans for the Spring.
SeedFork Chairman Rodney Laulo said the long term vision is continuing to build a partnership with Tennessee Tech Agriculture to bring transplant crops into the garden. Laulo said he wants to create an interactive education for kids, following the process from soil preparation, all the way to meal preparation.
“You can make the largest impact on somebody’s life, early in their life and kids are much more interested in trying things,” Laulo said. “Especially if they grow it and then take it and prepare it and eat it, that’s a really exciting experience for most kids.”
Laulo said the plan is to continue working with TTU’s Agriculture department, using student volunteers to help in the Spring of 2021. Laulo said the garden’s first year featured tomatoes and peppers.
“We have an intern with us, who has been working with us and we’re thinking about planting some of those transplants he’s got,” Laulo said. “We have started those for the garden that is at Highlands Residential, with the kids program over there.”
Laulo said he envisions prepping and planting the garden in March and April of 2021, with a community celebration in May. Laulo said the Jefferson Avenue garden is a location worth growing.
“So many people drive by that area every day, that it really gives us the visibility, people start seeing something going on,” Laulo said. “I think when people see something, sometimes in order to really create a future in something, people have to start seeing it before they can engage in it.”
Laulo said the garden is located near Jefferson and 1st Street. He said it is just past the old Big O Donuts in Cookeville.