On Sept. 30, students from Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, Larue County High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) Members, Kentucky FFA President Brian Chism, and garden sponsor Steve Meredith gathered with National Park Service (NPS) employees to harvest the first-ever USDA People’s Garden at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site in Hodgenville, Ky.
The USDA People’s Garden Initiative is a tribute to the 16th President, who created the USDA in 1862. In tribute to Lincoln’s agricultural legacy, volunteers planted, cultivated and harvested a spectacular 1,500 square foot garden, which included corn, pumpkin and bean varieties from the Lincoln childhood era, along with modern varieties of tomatoes, butternut squash, cucumbers and okra. The outer fence carried a vine display of various gourds commonly used as storage and drinking containers on the Kentucky frontier. Edible produce was donated to a local church food bank. In addition to volunteer labor, the Lincoln Birthplace garden was sponsored by Keep America Beautiful, Kentucky FFA, and the National Park Service.