BCCC agricultural students turn trash into treasure

Agricultural students at the Barnwell County Career Center are learning to turn trash items such as old tires, broken pallets, and gallon jugs into gardens this year!
Students were given the project options of raising a bantam chick or creating a garden with recycled goods. While about half of the students have opted for the cuddly bantam chick, several others were greatly interested in growing their own food in a fall garden.
Jacy Oswald, a 2nd year agricultural student, decided to create her garden using old tires stacked neatly at her home. While Jacob Hair, a 1st year agricultural student, has worked with his father to create a raised garden bed at his home.
Still several others have been working with Mrs. Mindy Sandifer, the agricultural instructor at BCCC, to assemble edible wall gardens using old broken pallets stuffed with soil. Mrs. Sandifer stated that the two main goals of the project is to teach students to grow their own food without the use of fancy equipment and demonstrate how we can reduce trash in the landfill by creatively using various containers in our backyards.
Mrs. Sandifer's project idea was inspired by her daughter's cartoon channel one afternoon. The show spotlighted a science teacher in New Jersey who taught his students to use abnormal space in the city and trash items to create edible walls. Areas under bridges, roof tops, and even graffiti stricken walls became garden space for the community decreasing the hunger problem of the community. Sandifer hopes to extend the project beyond the classroom to the surrounding communities in the future with the help of the students and their newly learned gardening knowledge. Students have planted various types of lettuces, carrots, radishes, kale, spinach, and some herbs for their fall crop.
The students working with their own bantam chick will learn to care for the chicken, as well as, the showmanship skills needed to show the animal at the winter poultry show in Barnwell. The overall goal of both project areas is to teach youth to successfully produce their own food whether its meat or eggs from a chicken or garden crops.
According to the No Kid Hungry Organization, 1 in 5 children are hungry in America and children do not reach their full potential unless their nutritional needs are met. After hearing from an FFA member who had been homeless during the 2012 National FFA Convention and recent situations with local students in need of food for themselves and their families, the BCCC FFA chapter is working to implement projects within our community and beyond to reduce hunger.
If you would like to be involved with the FFA's goal to reduce hunger in our community or are interested in more information about the BCCC's Agricultural Program, like us on Facebook, "Barnwell County Career Center FFA" or call (803) 259-5512.