Digging Potatoes For The Community

Cleveland County Potato Project

Potato Over Field In Cleveland County, NC the unemployment rate spiked over 12% in 2009 leaving many people without income. The First Baptist Church in Shelby NC had a Sunday School class that saw the need here and formed the Cleveland County Potato Project. The goal of the project was to grow as many potatoes as possible to give to the Salvation Army and other organizations to distribute to the hungry in the area. The Cleveland County Potato Project is completely non-profit, and is worked by volunteers, with volunteered or donated equipment, and the land that is farmed is provided by volunteers in the county.

The first growing season for the project was 2010, and it was a pretty bad year to start, only yielding 10,000 lbs. of potatoes for the year. Since the small beginnings, the project has grown to over 165,000 lbs. of potatoes grown in 2012, and a projected yield of over 200,000 lbs. in 2013. The growing portion of the project is spread over 8 plots of land, and is worked entirely by volunteers.

This is a truck full of white potatoes that was filled with volunteer labor in less than an hour.
This is a truck full of white potatoes that was filled with volunteer labor in less than an hour.

While the Cleveland County Potato Project wishes to grow in its own community, they also want to be an example of the change a small group of people can make with just a little bit of land and donations. For more information about the Cleveland County Potato Project, or for information on starting a community effort like this in your area contact Bill Horn at campcall@aol.com or Doug Sharp at dwsharp428@aol.com

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