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Dogwood Church creates orchard for the community

Seeing the need of providing hungry families in Fayette County with fresh fruit, Jeff Meyers from Dogwood Church recently presented a vision that would see to this need through the Real Life Center.

The vision cast was huge and it included creating an orchard that would produce 20,000 pounds of fresh fruit — including apples, peaches, plums, blueberries, blackberries, figs, pomegranates, and grapes — a year and helping 100 or more hurting families each week.

On Nov. 5, a group of 45 people, under the leadership of Meyers, showed up on a Saturday at 10 a.m. with gloves and shovels in hand ready to plant and make the vision a reality. The excitement spread quickly through the group as each plant went into the ground.

“It is truly amazing to see this project kickoff with so many people willing to jump in and make a difference,” Meyers said. “From the beginning, it has been incredible to see how generous people in our community can be.”

Meyers adds that this vision could never have been accomplished without the help of some amazing partners:

• Dogwood Church: for donating the land, use of a well and a tractor;

• Mike Lorber, Lorber and Associates: providing the skills as a landscape architect to layout the orchard in the most effective and efficient way;

• Jason Warren, Rhino Services: For the help in removing 3 unwanted trees;

• David Warda, Ronnie D. Jones Construction: For providing a backhoe, bulldozer, and dump truck that helped with the grading of the property and tree removal;

• Coweta/ Fayette EMC: Providing the Roundup Grant for the plants;

• Cornelius Blueberry Farm: For all of the blueberry plants.

The first kick off gift came from a radio-controlled air show. That fundraiser, along with the generosity of many contributing businesses and individuals have made this happen.

“The community volunteers and the countless local businesses have helped us from the start,” said Cathy Berggren, director of the Real Life Center.

Local residents can be a part of the community orchard and by donating 10-20 hours per year. One does not even have to be a gardener to help. There ids a job for everyone.

Individuals and community groups are encouraged to come and participate. Each individual and group will be paired with a team leader. They will have the opportunity to focus on one fruit variety and become an expert on the care and maintenance of that fruit.

To reserve a spot on the orchard team, email The Real Life Center at rlc@thereallifecenter.org or call 770-631-9334.

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