When you do something for other people and expect nothing, sometimes the results can be surprising. That is the lesson that the Agriscience students at the Shelby County College and Career Center recently learned after participating in a community service to grow tomato plants for the community.
According to Phillip Riggsby, Agriscience Plant Systems Instructor, tomato seeds were donated for the students to germinate and prepare for planting to provide local community garden projects with plants for the upcoming spring.
First, I contacted the local county extension agent, Mr. Nelson Wynn, who in turn directed me to the Eleventh Area of Alabama Opportunity Action Committee Inc.,” said instructor Phillip Riggsby. “After speaking with Ms. Kendra Williams, the executive director, she informed me that she would be glad to distribute the tomato seedlings our class produced to community gardens in our area.”
All the Agriscience students at the school participated in preparing the seedbed for germinating the tomato seeds. The seeds began to germinate within ten to fourteen days after being planted, Riggsby said. When the seedlings emerged, students transplanted them into trays and then cared for them approximately two months to prepare them for the final planting.
“I contacted Ms. Williams and informed her that my students’ community service project plants were ready to be distributed,” Riggsby said. “She arrived a week later, and we loaded the plants on her truck. After we were finished, much to our surprise, Ms. Williams presented the College and Career Center’s Agriscience department with a donation of $2,500 to be spent on future community service projects. Without a doubt, when we do something good for other people and expect nothing—sometimes the results are surprising and amazing. The experience, not only rewarded my students by learning to work together as a team, but we also learned the true meaning of giving from the heart.”