Senior Jonas Brown earns national grant for FFA community garden

Jonas+Brown%2C+left%2C+and+Mr.+Plank%2C+right%2C+show+off+this+week%27s+produce+that+was+picked.
Jonas Brown, left, and Mr. Plank, right, show off this week's produce that was picked.

Jonas Brown, left, and Mr. Plank, right, show off this week's produce that was picked.

Angel Prince

Angel Prince

Jonas Brown, left, and Mr. Plank, right, show off this week's produce that was picked.

Jordan Ladd, editor

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Delphi senior Jonas Brown earned a national grant this September for his work in the Delphi FFA’s community garden. The grant is sponsored by Land O’ Lakes, a member-owned cooperative that focuses on the agriculture industry.

Called the ‘Garden Guru’ Grant, the grant is given to, “an FFA student that consistently goes ‘above and beyond’.” The student must also be a part of an FFA chapter that has an “Answer Plot® Community Garden.”

In applying for the grant, Jonas stated, “Working in the community garden [for me] is a lot more than just picking produce, because when I am helping and giving back to the community that has helped me in many ways, I get a deep sense of joy and passion for agriculture and the FFA.”

FFA chapter advisor Taylor Plank nominated Jonas for the grant. Mr. Plank spoke highly of Jonas: “[Jonas] was one of the first students that helped break ground on the garden last year and was a part of the inaugural ribbon cutting. . . . Jonas really strikes me as a ‘Garden Guru’ for his ability to get others involved and for his innovative ideas.  Jonas saw the need to get more students involved, [and so he set to accomplish that task].”

Angel Prince
Jonas picks some tomatoes from the community garden, located near the back parking lot.

The grant gave $500 to the recipient’s FFA chapter. An extra $200 was awarded for increasing this year’s yield by 10%, making the total amount given to the Delphi FFA chapter $700.

One way the money can be used is to buy the chapter a new drone. For the past couple of years, Jonas has been using his own drone to take aerial photos of the garden. Mr. Plank said, “With these images, we were not only able to address the garden’s needs, but the images will also help us to plan our layout for the garden in future years.” One other use of the money could be to build a shed to store equipment. Right now, tools to take care of the garden have to be carried over from the school.

The FFA wants the entire school to know about and utilize the garden, which is located behind the tennis courts.  They hope to beautify the area by adding benches and flowers out there so other classes can use the space to hold classes and discussions. However, the community garden serves a much deeper purpose.

One hundred percent of the produce gathered from the garden is donated. Most of it goes to the Carroll County Food Banks. There, residents can take as much produce as each bank allows. The pumpkins will also be taken to the Camden kindergarten class for the Pumpkin Patch event.

The community garden is on track to produce nearly three times the amount of produce that was produced last year. Last year, the garden produced 608 lbs., and this year, the garden has already produced 1,403 lbs. The season for picking is not yet over, so the garden is well on its way to clear the 1,800 lb mark.

The Delphi FFA’s primary focus is serving and giving back to the community. Jonas echoes that sentiment: “Knowing that I can help my community and my FFA chapter is one of the key things I really enjoy.”

About the Contributors
Jordan Ladd, editor
Jordan is a junior at Delphi, and this is his second year writing for Parnassus. He is involved in Interact, SADD, is a HOBY alumni, and swims on the swim team. In his free time he volunteers at the Delphi Public Library and attends the Delphi United Methodist Youth Group. Jordan enjoys reading, traveling, watching movies. In the future, Jordan hopes to work as a missionary somewhere.
Angel Prince, writer/photographer

Angel is a junior at Delphi and this is his first year being a Parnassus staff member. His hobbies include running track and being part of the Poms  team. Hanging with friends and family are the two most important things to him. After high school, Angel plans on attending Purdue University to major in the study of Biology and minor in Business Management.

1 Comment

One Response to “Senior Jonas Brown earns national grant for FFA community garden”

  1. Joyce Lawton on September 19th, 2018 2:27 pm

    Great article! Way to go Jonas and the Community Garden initiative!

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