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COLUMBIA – The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture is encouraging residents to take pride in their community and learn sustainable habits.

The organization hosts community-led gardening sessions at Kilgore’s Community Garden, 700 N. Providence Rd., every Wednesday.

Kyle Holland, urban farm associate for the center, said the purpose of the workdays is to teach Columbia residents about sustainability.

“At CCUA our main goal is to improve the health of the community,” Holland said. 

Since 2010, the garden has allowed community members to watch crops grow from the ground up. 

Columbia resident Samantha Lemp said gardening has taught her the importance of helping others.

"Gardening and the programs that they have has really taught me about the needs of our community," Lemp said. "I understand the needs of low-income families and how to be sustainable." 

The garden is currently in hot-season harvest. Volunteers who attend will help pick cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini and collard greens. 

The crops grown at the garden help feed the children at Nora Stewart's Early Learning Center. 

"You can improve the health of your community," Holland said. "It doesn't take much. It just takes a few tomato plants in your backyard and you can donate those at the pantry, your church or keep them for your family." 

Garden workdays are 5 - 8 p.m. through October.