Garden Takes Root In Middle Of Volunteer Camp

Volunteers have been using their hands to rebuild storm-damaged homes. On Friday, those very hands were planting seeds of hope.

Corn, beans, onions and tomatoes will soon spring to life, in the middle of the Hands-On Gulf Coast volunteer campground in Biloxi. Karissa McLane inherited the gardening project from a farmer who started it last Spring.

"I don't really know anything about gardening," said Hands On volunteer Karissa McLane. "I don't have a gardening background, but I've learned so much in the last couple of months about this."

The fresh fruits and vegetables have fed hundreds of volunteers, who camp out there every night.

"We had cabbage, radish, peas and a bunch of collard greens, and it was delicious," McLane said. "Yes, it definitely beats MREs."

Other volunteers who come through the base take turns, tending to the garden.

"It is definitely a nice break. I mean, you get to be outside," said Wisconsin volunteer Erin Elliott. "We get to learn stuff, looking up stuff on the Internet everyday, seeing stuff grow."

More importantly, as the garden takes root in South Mississippi, it's giving the dedicated volunteers a place to enjoy after a hard day's work.

"A lot of volunteers just find it really relaxing to come out here and do some weeding and planting and that kind of thing," McLane said. "I think it's been sort of therapeutic, especially for some of the long term volunteers who've taken it over."

Karissa McLane is also spearheading a community garden at John Henry Beck Park in Biloxi. The garden is open to families in the neighborhood. All 32-plots have been claimed.