Monday, May 23, 2016

Gold Award Spotlight: Straw Bale Gardening for The Welcome Table's Meals

Girl Scout Senior Shannon from Hampton has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Shannon worked to supply fresh vegetables for The Welcome Table, a program at First Christian Church where a free meal is provided for approximately 100 people in need each week. In order to do this, Shannon planted a straw bale garden at the church. After setting up the bales and conditioning them for planting, she planted lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and herbs. After her first harvest, Shannon had more than 27 pounds of produce.

“I am passionate about gardening and helping to fight hunger,” Shannon said. “By creating a straw bale garden, the church can cheaply and easily grow their own fresh produce for those facing food insecurity.”

As part of her project, Shannon also wanted to inform community members about how they could reduce their own fresh food expenses by building straw bale gardens at home. She taught three classes, made up of more than 35 people in all, about how to start and maintain their own straw bale gardens.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in the community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than six percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Shannon to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor. In 2016, Girl Scouts are celebrating 100 years of girls changing the world during the centennial year of the Girl Scout Gold Award.