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2013 Growing Together Network announces contest winners

Posted on: October 10, 2013

(Stoneville, MS) – Fall means harvest time in the Mississippi Delta.  Groups of dedicated gardening teams across the Delta are enjoying their harvest bounty by participating in a gardening network contest, including attending workshops on growing sustainable food supplies. The 2013 Growing Together Community Garden Contest and Network, a partnership of Delta Health Alliance (DHA) and Delta Fresh Foods Initiative (DFFI) provided an opportunity for church, community, school, and youth gardeners to learn proper cultivation techniques to ensure long term success and supply their community with fresh produce, a commodity lacking in many Delta towns.

2013 marks the third year of the Mississippi Delta Growing Together: A Network of Church, Community, School, and Youth Gardens, and the second year for the contest. The contest requirements for participating garden groups were few and contestants were judged on workshop participation, community awareness and involvement, youth participation, maintenance and sustainable growing practices, variety of produce, and suitability of the plantings.  Design and total visual effect were also taken into account with extra points awarded for creativity and ingenuity.

Garden groups taking home top honors are:  1st Place and recipient of $1000 for garden supplies and equipment is Samuel Chapel United Methodist Church, Itta Bena.  Right Strides Community Garden, Coffeeville, is the 2nd place winner and will enjoy $750 towards supplies and/or equipment.

Garden groups having perfect workshop attendance will receive $400 gift cards to purchase additional supplies for their garden.  Samuel Chapel United Methodist Church of Itta Bena, Right Strides Community Garden in Coffeeville; and Brooks Elementary School Garden, Duncan, all attended the series of workshops.  Teams attending 2 of the three workshops and receiving a $200 gift card are DSU Wiley Community Garden, Cleveland, MEGA (Mississippians Engaged in Greener Agriculture) of Shelby, and Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Greenville.

Winners will be recognized and featured in a slideshow during Delta Fresh Foods Initiative 3rd Harvest Celebration and Awards Gala in Clarksdale on October 24 along with recognizing Delta Farm to School leaders.

For more information about organizing a garden group or starting a community garden, contact Leslie Johnson, Delta Health Alliance Community Garden Project Manager at 662.686.7004.

2nd place winner Right Strides Community Garden, Coffeeville, produced fresh produce to share within their community.
Gardeners from Samuel Chapel United Methodist Church in Itta Bena show off their bountiful harvest.

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Delta Health Alliance (DHA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Stoneville, Mississippi, that aims to improve the health of the 400,000 men, women, and children who call the Mississippi Delta their home.  To discover more about DHA, please visit www.deltahealthalliance.org or follow on Facebook or Twitter.

The Delta Fresh Foods Initiative (DFFI) is a diverse coalition of community stakeholders committed to establishing sustainable, equitable community food systems in the Mississippi Delta.  For more information about DFFI, visit www.deltafreshfoods.org or follow on Facebook.