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"The Generous Garden Project" continued...

As a non-profit organization, volunteers are essential to The Generous Garden Project’s operations. The over 3,000 volunteers involved each year take on a variety of tasks. Of course there are normal gardening activities (such as: planting, pulling weeds, making rows/beds, harvesting, feeding the goats, fish, and chickens, building and repairing equipment, etc.), but volunteers can also help with office work like grant writing. Bo Cable is quick to state, “Come on out, and we can find something for you to do!” Volunteers are needed 7 days a week. Saturday tends to be the biggest day with numbers ranging from 20 – 150 people.

The Generous Garden Project not only works to feed the hungry, but they are also heavily involved in education. Volunteers learn by gaining firsthand knowledge of the various techniques they use at the garden. Schools and individuals are welcome to take guided or solo tours through the facilities to learn more about gardening. One available tour is actually a three hour class that is accredited by South Carolina for K5-12th grade. This curriculum was developed over a year through a collaboration between Bo and several teachers.

Bo Cable feels God leading that “build a garden” idea into a franchise. This wouldn’t be to make money but to build a special “garden in a box”. These boxes are being engineered to allow individuals or other organizations the chance to start their own organic garden. The mission is to make more self-sustainable organizations that can feed those in need. The Generous Garden’s Woodruff Road location is being used as the model for this endeavor. Gardens abroad are already being utilized at an orphanage in Haiti. The German government also gave The Generous Garden Project funds to develop a garden in Germany.

Looking to the future here in Greenville, The Project’s aim is to eventually have some full time employees. Many of the gardening techniques are labor intensive. The aquaponics setup alone requires 6 – 8 hours a day. In 2013, a lone volunteer did not show up to care for the fish tanks one day, and a leak in the system almost destroyed the whole aquaponics project. Full time employees would guarantee staff on hand each day and help coordinate the volunteers.

The ministry goes beyond gardening when it comes to outreach. Unique friendships are developed through the volunteers, like a millionaire and a drug addict. Jesus is not being forced upon the people. The staff just loves on and gets to know the volunteers. A prayer team works in the background and God is shown through actions.

One example of what is taking place occurred with a Satanist that volunteered at The Generous Garden. This was a lady who actually went into full Satanic rituals each day. After being involved for a year and a half as a volunteer, she approached the prayer team and asked to pray with them. She then asked about going to church with them. This same woman eventually accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior! Without ever preaching to her, the staff’s actions and words showed “We love you, and we’re here for you.” An extremely powerful testimony to how the lives of Christians can affect others!

Like any ministry, The Generous Garden Project is always in need of prayers. Pray for wisdom, guidance, and the future. Several grants have helped with many new projects, but donations are always needed. It costs over $1,000 to run the garden each day. There are also several projects that need funds like a training center and solar panels. Volunteers will continue to be the life blood of day to day operations, and new people are a must. Spreading the word is the best way to bring in new volunteers, churches, and organizations to help. Donations in the form of equipment are also welcome. This includes trucks, tillers, tractors, etc. If you even have extra gardening equipment lying around, The Project can use them!

For more information about the garden, volunteering, and donations, visit www.generousgarden.org or call (864) 881-8230. The Generous Garden Project’s main location is at 161 Verdin Rd, Greenville, SC 29607. Mailing Address: 2131 Woodruff Road, Suite 2100 #212, Greenville, SC 29607.

From: Volume 2 - Issue 2


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