Man, WV Project & Dudley Farm


Ray, J.J., Savannah and Rich constructing a raised bed garden.

During our service trip to West Virginia, each for us have learned some new tricks, tips, and ways to think about situations. I learned new technical skills, which I think will help out a lot when it comes to owning my first house, or when help out in a community I may volunteer in the future. We learned how to assemble raised beds to help grow vegetables and flowers in Man, WV at an elementary school.  The new garden we built gives the school a more welcoming feeling, and will teach children and even staff, how to plant and grow food in their own backyards.  Elders in the community are now going to come and show the children how to garden in our raised beds.

A new self discovery occurred for me while being on Doug Dudley’s farm. We first made small mounds of dirt all through the fields, then we made trenches to put the seeds in, and then went back to cover the seeds.  It took a lot of energy and the entire process hurt my back a lot. While working on the field I came to the realization of how much work goes into growing food. Buying a green bell pepper cost about 30 cents each at a local grocery store, and even though it seems so cheap and if you do not use it in time before it rots it is not a big deal. But now to think about how much effort, time, sweat, and pain goes into growing a crop it makes me want to waste less food, appreciate what it takes to do take like farming, and hopefully I can make an impact on someone else’s life and teach them not to waste as much.


Ray tilling a bed in the Williamson Community Garden with Savannah, and Nate our site director.

Learning these new skills has taught me to be more mindful of what I do everyday. Taking our carbon footprint and turning it into a green thumb will hopefully spark others creativity, and make them want to help in their communities to build a brighter future, and even brighter smiles on everyone’s faces in the community.

By Ray Sgambati

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