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Foster Care Facility Teaches Young Men Gardening -- Kai Beech

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A Nashville-based foster care facility is teaching young men the values of growing their own food.  

For the past 120 years, Monroe Harding has done whatever they could to help give young people a better chance for success in life. And now they've added a community garden to their list.

"If you put positive things in your life, you're going to get a positive outlook," said Chris, a Monroe Harding resident who requested his last name not to be used.

The Nashville foster children housing program recently built this community garden with the hope of giving young men skills that will help nourish them for their lifetimes.

"They’re learning a skill, a huge skill," said Lauren Varney, Monroe Harding director of support services. "They’re learning how to cook for themselves."

The idea of this garden was sprouted a few years ago and has grown into a hands-on learning environment where young men can learn how to produce their own food, prepare it and ultimately eat it--which is something Monroe Harding officials say didn't happen that often before.

"Most of the guys that come to us really haven't experienced a freshly prepared meal," Varney said. "They might stop by the corner grocery store, the corner gas station and pick up some chips and a soda."

But now after months of hard work, tending to these fruits and vegetables, these young men now see this garden as an emotional outlet and as a way to a much healthier future.

"Depending on what you put in your life is what you'll get out," Eric said. "If you water the plant and give it sunlight and teach it to grow then you can have a nice garden."


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