Houston AAPDEP set to hold hands-on training for students

Houston, TX- The Houston chapter of the All African People's Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP) will host a class of students from a YES PREP middle school on October 31, 2014. 
During their visit to the AAPDEP 5th Ward Community garden, the students will learn about food deserts and how community gardens serve as self-help projects.
They will learn the benefits of growing your own food, how to start a garden, and will have an opportunity to see the only recently installed rainwater harvesting tank in 5th Ward.
Food Deserts
Once the children arrive, AAPDEP Secretary, Aja Zola, will share information about AAPDEP and how we are working to eliminate food deserts through gardening.
A food desert is a geographic area where affordable and nutritious food is difficult to obtain, particularly for those without access to resources or an automobile.
These food deserts usually exist in rural areas and African communities, and have been linked to diet-related health problems in affected populations.
Food insecure communities that are plagued with supermarket shortages consequently can lead to a myriad of health problems that could be avoided if the people could have easy access to organic fruits and vegetables.
Therefore, by growing food in a garden, we can work toward the elimination of food deserts and keep the community healthy. People with personal gardens can sell their crops, enabling them to generate an income through gardening.
Volunteers of AAPDEP and members will be present to engage the students at different stations arranged in the garden so the students will learn specific aspects of gardening at each station stopover.
After the welcome and introductions, the students will learn about the benefits of an organic garden from AAPDEP volunteer Larry Carter.
Gardener and AAPDEP member Gian Everette will discuss garden tools and safety with the students. Knowing what tools to use when planting and how to safely use those tools is very important.
Rainwater Harvesting
From here, the students will move to the first station and work with member Joseph Holly, as he will explain the purpose and benefits of the rainwater tank, as well as why water is essential to a garden. 
The students will then appreciate the value in having a rainwater harvesting tank in Texas for the garden. In some states rainwater harvesting is illegal.
Ironically, in Colorado and Washington recreational marijuana is legal; however, rainwater harvesting in your backyard is illegal.
Building Raised Beds
After a demonstration of the workings of the water tank, Volunteers Jessie Caldwell and Ephram Boyd will explain raised beds, the benefits, what to plant in the bed, and how to easily build one.
This is where the children will have their first opportunity to plant seeds. On their return visit, the students will see how the crops have grown.
Pot Planting
At the next station, members Mary Tompkins and Karen Berry will teach what types of crops or herbs can be grown in a pot inside of the home or patio.
The take away from this station will teach the students that even without a backyard, you can successfully start a garden on your patio or balcony by growing beets, cucumbers, zucchini and even herbs like basil.
Tilling the Land
Before planting, you must till the land. This is where Goodie and Larry will introduce the tiller machine and explain tilling. The tiller will surely capture the attention of the students. Students who are up for the challenge can only watch since they are not allowed to operate power tools.
Row Planting
At the AAPDEP 5th Ward Community garden we not only have raised beds, we also have rows for planting. Ephram Boyd will demonstrate row planting. The students will learn how to make the rows and how deep to plant the seeds. These tips are garden essentials.
The last station will teach a very important aspect of gardening that the MOVE organization in Philadelphia used while adopting a natural way of living – using a compost bin.
Gian Everette will explain the importance of compost. Having a compost bin is beneficial because it is a part of the recycling of life. 
All of the banana peels, hulls, seeds from eaten fruit, etc. can be discarded in the compost bin and recycled back into the soil. Thus, the soil becomes rich, and optimal growth of the crops can be achieved.
To conclude the morning of hands-on gardening, the students will have an opportunity for questions and answers. They will also be able to take a garden souvenir home to their families for show and tell.
Check back with us as we will update you with pictures from our day of gardening with the students of YES PREP. We look forward to hosting you and your group at the AAPDEP 5th Ward Community Garden.
The AAPDEP Houston Branch is eliminating food deserts and teaching the community about the Food Revolution.
With food subsidies constantly being reduced during these precarious times, it is critical that we learn how to grow our own.
If the grocery stores shut down for a week, could you walk into your yard and feed your family?
If not, schedule some time with us for a hands-on teach in and let’s make sure we win by providing food.
Change your mind and change your eating. Grow your food and improve your life.
Since Friday October 31 is Halloween, Karen will have prepared a Scarecrow and Grab-bags for the students.
Some of our members won't be present for this event. Some will be at the Black is Back Mobilization in Washington, D.C. and longtime AAPDEP member Jody Burnett is recupperating from an illness. He will be just fine
Contact us!.
Call for scheduling or donations. Omowale Kefing – 214-707-7309, 3711 Brill Street, Houston, TX77026-4619


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