Stillman College grows its own greens

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 5:47 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Stillman College believes it may be the first college in the state to start growing part of its own food.

Back in the summer, Stillman’s on-campus food provider, Metz Culinary Management, provided a $10,000 grant to help the college expand the Stillman Foundation Community Garden.

The newest addition is healthy, nutritious, and really green, as in collard greens.

The vegetable was planted in early September, and school leaders say they expect to harvest it in early December.

The greens, all 400 pounds, were planted on five acres off James Harrison Parkway. The reason they did this was two-fold:

1. To grow collard greens for students eating in the school cafeteria.

2. To give to needy families in Tuscaloosa’s west end.

According to Feeding America, 14 percent of residents and 18 percent of children in Tuscaloosa County are what they call “food insecure.”

“Well, students have been very excited about the possibility,” said Mason Bonner, head of Stillman College’s Social justice and Community Engagement. “We have work stations that have participated in the preparations of the gardens. We also have the community service providing work for the garden, so they are excited about the possibility of being part of the food they grow and will end up eating.”

Bonner says they’re growing the food in a partnership with Jeremiah Garden and Bonner made it a point to say city water was not used in watering the plants. Well water was used instead.

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