The CFMC has two types of grants, Impact grants, and Capacity grants. These grants allow other non-profits or programs to make an impact on Morgan County. For example; the Mobile Garden Classroom.
Greg Marlett, with The Morgan County Water and Soil, started this program back in late 2015, early 2016. This grant allowed him to build a garden that he could travel with. However, this mobile garden was much more than plants on wheels. It was a teaching opportunity!
We actually sat down with Greg to learn more about this fantastic garden. Greg mentions, “the garden was thought of around a group of friends with simple layouts…. making this project seem like a piece of cake until we needed much more ground to cover.” The garden was originally for school-based programs, however, students weren’t there in the summer to really help cultivate the garden.
Greg continues, “I think at first we really joked about the garden being mobile until we thought about this being a learning tool, what if we taught students how to grow their own food?”
This became a new light for their situation. The mobile garden classroom came to life! From the help with the grant for the CFMC, the mobile garden classroom was able to be placed on a traveling trailer, with a solar panel, 2×4 boxes for the potting soil, and a cover to keep plants from harsh weather.
The CFMC is huge on impact, so we asked Greg, “How can the mobile garden be a testament to others?”
He smiled, “You wouldn’t believe how kids react. They are engaged, ready to teach others, and they frankly teach their parents. I can’t tell you enough about how the adults come to me and say “I had no idea it was this easy!” If people knew how simple gardening was, they could easily use a bowl, or cardboard box to start growing food…..they could have food in as early as thirty days. With the hunger epidemic in Morgan County, this could be a game changer.”
Greg first started teaching the Mobile Garden Classroom strictly at schools, and then he was asked by the Mooresville Public library to present homeschool students. Before he knew it, he was booking 3 to 4 classes a week in the spring and summer months. “At first we were scared it wouldn’t take off. However, after the excitement of the students, they are going home and making their own gardens. That’s why the school asks us to come back. I think the future of this program would be to have something like a garden…but on a bus. So we can have a ramp, attendees can see so much more, and we can grow more on a bus than a trailer.”
The CFMC is excited about this program and the future it has! Keep up the great work Greg, you’re striving to make Morgan County a better place to work, live and play every day!