Operation Better Block’s Junior Green Corps was honored at city hall today, receiving the Community Green Champion Award for its work to bring fresh vegetables to Homewood.
Jerome Jackson, executive director of Operation Better Block, said the program, which is entering its fourth year, trains youth, starting in 9th grade, in green practices that have included planting sunflowers to remediate contaminated soil and starting a series of green walls on the OBB building.
“During Easter break," he said, "our students attended a three day training to learn how to build and plant a green wall and they grew vegetables onthem. We picked radishes” this week. “They had never had fresh vegetables out of the ground.”
As an introductory course, radishes could be considered challenging. But if all you’ve ever tasted is radishes from bags at the grocery or as garnish in a salad, you might have missed the peppery tang at the height of freshness.
“Last year, we planted collard greens, and they had a different taste because they were fresh,” Mr. Jackson said.
This year, the students are also growing chard, beets and spring onions.
Seventeen teenagers are members of the Junior Green Corps. It is an after-school and summer program from which they graduate out after high school.
Photo by Jeome Jackson
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