MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - One Macon church is making sure residents in the area go home with the freshest produce possible.
"I'm just in love with the idea of feeding people," Jason Shearer said.
He had the idea to install a community garden in the works for almost a year.
He says the half-acre of land behind the church was the perfect place to put it.
"It really brought to light in my mind, some things that I had not thought of before. some people don't have access to fresh fruits and vegetables," Shearer said.
Shearer runs the church's food pantry.
According to him, it was a success that needed to expand.
"What we're doing this year, is pretty much getting it in hand. We're all first time farmers, learning how to grow different crops," he said.
There are different crops including pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupes, even 30 plus pound watermelons.
Shearer says it's all organic.
He adds there are zero pesticides...and the water used to grow the crops comes from rain water.
it cost about $3,000 to put the garden together.
Shearer says all of the money was donated, and the labor is voluntary.
"...building the trench for the underground irrigation. I've had a lot of help. i can't say that it was all me, and it wasn't even me and the six volunteers, i mean we had tons of help," he said.
Shearer says he's planning to grow the garden even more.
"In the short term, what we want to do is partner with local restaurants to provide them this organic produce that they can sell to their customers," he said.
Shearer says he's looking to grow the garden to about two acres in the near future.
He says the best part is the produce is available to everyone -- not just church members.
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