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Community garden blooming at Orangeburg's homeless shelter

The Samaritan House is teaching its residents how to grow fresh fruits and vegetables.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — After receiving donations in May to create a community garden from the organization Growing COB, the Samaritan House community is starting to see their hard work bloom.

"When people come by the Samaritan House now, they don't want to see the inside; they want to come the community garden," explained Henry Miller, Samaritan House's executive director. We've got some zucchini, tomatoes, okra, cucumber, and we got spices we are growing in the back. I have one gentleman in here, and he's a vegetarian. Last week, he cooked a stir-fry for everybody, and it was great."

The purpose of the community garden is to teach the residents in Orangeburg County's only homeless shelter how to grow their own fresh fruits and vegetables. The executive director connects them with local farmers to learn gardening skills and develop an interest in agriculture once they are released back into the community.

Credit: Devin Johnson

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"It was very easy for me to leave instruction with them to stay, keep an eye for this insect or tie the tomatoes up like this from going up the stake," explained Nancy Dingley, Owner of The Haven Farm.

All of the resources to maintain the garden is donated by community supporters. Miller says the support helps the Samaritan House's mission of helping folks in need.

"All of the donations they bring to us, that's less what we have to spend," expressed Miller. "We can take those dollars and do what we need to do to maintain the shelter."

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