There were about two-dozen young people and older volunteers armed with knives and knit bags, ready to harvest the first of several of their cabbage patches in Holmes County before the cold would have killed all of the plants last night.
This project is sponsored by the Milestone Co-op, an organization set up back in 1942 by the Farmers Security Administration for sharecroppers in Holmes County, giving them land on which to grow crops to sell and for their own table.
The Co-op still exists, and this particular project is for the young people of the community, where youngsters with and without disabilities work together.
“Thank God for the Mississippi Council on Developmental Disabilities who helps support and sponsor this process," said Calvin Head, a volunteer with the group. "We are harvesting cabbages right now that we are selling to supermarkets and Sysco and other entities. More importantly, we are trying to educate and train these kids about, not just ways to generate revenue but having something to do in the community. Having access to fresh product that they seem to like now.”
Joseph Anderson. a Holmes County farmer who is also a volunteer adds,
“And teach them how to work, too, because average children now don't know nothin' ‘bout no work,” added Joseph Anderson, a Holmes County farmer who is also a volunteer.
The young not only do the harvesting but are also involved with finding markets for their produce and keeping the books. They get paid for what they do. And they are also putting fresh food on the tables of people in Holmes County at the same time.
And that is not only "Making A Difference" for these youngsters working in the project, but also for the people who eat what they produce.
“Holmes County is a county that is full of obesity. There are a lot of health related issues and most of it has to do with our diet and the things we consume," added Calvin Head. "This is a food desert, so we're trying to sell commercially but we are also trying to enhance and educate out citizens in the county into eating good quality vegetables.”
These young folks are our leaders of tomorrow, and thanks to organizations like the Milestone Co-op and the Mississippi Council on Developmental Disability, they will be ready to Make A Difference when they get into those positions of leadership because someone is taking the time to Make A Difference with them today.