Good News: Bethesda's Farmer's Table

Good News: Bethesda's Farner's Table

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - The crowd starts to gather on Bethesda's campus right around 3 p.m. on Wednesdays.

But the fresh fruit and vegetables that draw people there is on a less predictable schedule.

"Good things don't come easy, it doesn't come quickly, it doesn't come easily," said Bethesda senior Sean Carter, who takes a class allowing him to tend to Bethesda's farm. "The longer you work at it, the longer it takes, the more it's going to feel great when it comes through."

Bethesda's weekly Farmer's Table is a product of that patience and the hard work of Bethesda students who plant, care for and harvest the school's crops.

And it has turned the small farm off of Ferguson Avenue into an outdoor classroom.

"The philosophy of hands-on is also an opportunity for students to get skills that might apply to all different kinds of jobs," said Merrin Slocombe, director of farm and garden at Bethesda. "We're not just teaching an agriculture curriculum. We're teaching responsibility, we're teaching teamwork, we're teaching showing up."

"Now students can come out here, plant it and not only take it from seed to the ground, but take it from the ground to the table and sell it," added Carter. "And they can learn business aspects from it as well."

And the community is learning to shop for produce, as well as meat and eggs, at Bethesda

"The vegetables are fresh-grown, organic and that's supposed to be the healthiest for you," said Elaine Lane, who shopped at the farmer's table this week. "When there's an opportunity for me to buy fresh vegetables, I grab it."

The Bethesda farm also produces food for the school's dining hall and supplies several local restaurants, with proceeds from sales going back into the school.

And the greater lesson going to Bethesda students.

"When I see the product," said Bethesda freshman Kamron Seabrain. "Then I'm saying to myself, wow that came from what I did, from a little seed and then it turned into this."

"Responsibility like that is just amazing here," added Carter. "We learn new things daily. This is one of the most interesting classes I have and enjoy."

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