PEN Foundation Garden Project

The PEN Foundation president, Eva Austin, teamed up with Franklin County Soil Conservation District (FCSCD) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to teach children and adults about growing a garden as part of PEN’s summer learning program. With help from the Farmer’s Market and John Ferrell, the students learned how to plant, harvest, market, and enjoy various kinds of vegetables and herbs. The PEN Foundation is an organization dedicated to enhancing the education of youth in Franklin County. For the past several years they have worked with area schools extended care program to provide informative classes on a myriad of topics.

Donations from Franklin County Lumber, Carroll Ray Smith and LTS Construction, and Home Depot helped to build four raised beds for the kids to plant different kinds of vegetables and herbs from seeds and plants.


 John Ingle and LaDonna Caldwell started out by explaining the importance of good soil and how plants use the nutrients to grow and produce. Then, the kids and adults got their hands dirty planting seeds and plants. They planted several different kinds of herbs, radishes, green beans, tomatoes, banana and bell peppers, squash, cucumbers, zucchini, and eggplant.

On their return trip about a month later, the children got to see how the plants had grown and some were even ready to be picked. They then partnered with venders from the Farmer’s Market to learn how to sell what is raised on a farm. The program seemed to be a success with everyone hopefully learning something. With a few improvements, we hope to do it again next year.

For more information on programs offered by the FCSCD and NRCS, contact our office at 200 S. Jefferson St., Room  108,Winchester or call 967-3504 ext. 3.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.