Near the playground at Hill-n-Dale Christian Church lie five raised bed gardens overflowing with fruits and flowers of labor from Girl Scout Troop 1085. In May, the scouts went from playing atop the abandoned beds before their Thursday meetings to dreaming up a generous project that involved revitalizing the beds to grow food for Lexington’s hungry.The troop brainstormed a plan of action and, with permission of the church, emptied out the old wooden frames, moved them to a grassy area nearby, and filled them up again. A nearby horse farm donated some manure and the adventure began.

Patricia, a scout parent and troop leader summarized the troop’s resolve: “The girls wanted to help the community and they knew this would be the way to do it.” Even an initial lack of gardening knowledge didn’t slow them down. The Troop scheduled classes with Fayette County Cooperative Extension and did a large amount of reading and research on their own.

Seeds were sown and soon the troop began taking turns delivering produce to area feeding programs like those at the Catholic Action Center and Nathanial Mission. Radishes, squash, cucumbers, beans, carrots, tomatoes, and basil were among the produce grown and donated.

Each of the girls in the troop have put over 50 hours into the project, bringing the troop’s total to about 400 hours. The troop is currently working on the paperwork required to earn a Silver Award for their efforts. When asked about what all this work meant to them, Olivia said it well: “I like the part where we work so hard for hungry people to eat. I like knowing our hard work does something.”

This fall, the troop is planning on painting the raised bed frames and mulching paths through the garden. They also hope to get more girls involved to expand the project and it’s impact for those in need in Lexington.