BATESBURG-LEESVILLE, S.C. — A gardening initiative is starting up for the fall season out in Batesburg-Leesville. It originated through the community Facebook page called "Growing Batesburg-Leesville."
Locals have come together to purchase seeds in bulk from a company in Utah called True Leaf Market Company, to then disperse for free to the community in baskets set up at local businesses in town, like Kosmos Barber Shop and Chinaberry Dreaming.
Local volunteers involved with the initiative explain that other businesses like Oak Street Vintage Mall and places of worship like Leesville United Methodist Church are locations you can find seeds as well.
The effort began in the spring, when the group distributed 800 seed packets and 350 seedlings. Volunteers explain that they hope to increase distribution this fall to 1500 seed packets with about 300 seedlings.
Seeds available produce broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, beets, kale, carrots, onions, radishes, turnips, peas, mustard, collards and spinach.
Local volunteer Kelly Arrington filled and labeled more than 1,000 packets of seeds over the course of the past couple days.
"We are a small town and we are rich with cultural diversity and gardening is something young, old, rich, poor, no matter your background, you can come together. Whether you're supplementing your grocery bill, in these times where grocery (costs) are rising, or whether you're just stressed out and that's how you help your mental health, is by planting vegetables and plating a garden, watching it grow, people come to gardening from everywhere," Arrington said.
Arrington tells News 19 the goal is to up the ante of seeds every season to reach more and more people in the community, with an end goal of starting a community garden.
If you'd like to help distribute these seeds to local businesses or get involved with the group, join their Facebook page called "Growing Batesburg-Leesville." Click here for that page.