Bridging art and agriculture: Community garden grows in Sylvester

The garden provides fresh vegetables, including collard greens and cabbage (Source: WALB)
The garden provides fresh vegetables, including collard greens and cabbage (Source: WALB)
The garden uses the technology of aeroponics (Source: WALB)
The garden uses the technology of aeroponics (Source: WALB)
Paris Moore (Source: WALB)
Paris Moore (Source: WALB)
Sam X (Source: WALB)
Sam X (Source: WALB)

SYLVESTER, GA (WALB) - The Village Community Garden has planted its roots in Sylvester.

The garden has been on West Paulk Street for just under a year and it's teaching some valuable lessons.

Sam X, along with his wife Eda Garcia, spearheaded the idea for the garden. He's a professional artist by trade, but he has a green thumb gift that he's lending to the community.

"The purpose of the garden is to bring the people together. To give people the opportunity to learn how to grow," Sam X said.

His goal is to tie together art and agriculture in a unique way.

"You may not like art, you may not like agriculture, but you love food," he said.

That goal comes to life through the community garden, a partnership between Fort Valley State University, the Southern Sky Center for Diverse Arts and Culture and the city. It's a collaborative effort to plant seeds of knowledge in both the young and the old.

"Our young people are involved, they're asking questions, they want to know about the aeroponics," Sam X said.

Aeroponics is a new technology that goes beyond traditional gardening methods. The garden currently has 10 towers that can grow the equivalent of 2 and a half acres of vegetables by using volcanic ash in place of soil.

"In 21 to 30 days whatever you place on that tower you're eating it," Sam X said.

But it's more than the technology that makes this garden special. It's about what sprouts beyond the garden's fences.

Paris Moore has her own garden right in her own backyard. It's an idea that was sparked by a trip to the community garden.

"I got bored and I ventured on down to Sam's garden and I looked around and I said I can't sit around in the house all summer," Moore said.

Sam X hopes to continuing sowing those same seeds of inspiration throughout the community for years to come.

"I want to just give back to my community. And I'm giving them what they deserve. We're trying to make the best, better," he said.

The Village Community Garden is open weekdays and by appointment on weekends.

A grand opening is scheduled for May 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to celebrate the garden's one year anniversary.

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