Students serve food they cooked with produce from their garden.GODFREY - The College for Life program at Lewis and Clark Community College (LCCC) recently celebrated the end of their gardening class with a meal using produce from the garden.

College for Life (CFL) is a community education program for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. This summer, 12 students tended to LCCC’s Growing Knowledge Garden and learned how to harvest and cook the produce they grew. They celebrated with a homemade luncheon on Aug. 4.

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“To be a part of [CFL] is one of the best parts about my job,” LCCC’s garden designer and horticulturist Katie Piper said. “I honestly have so much fun and I really love getting to work with all the students and getting to hang out with the College for Life teachers…You guys brighten my day.”

Piper led the students through taking care of the garden and cooking the meal. Administrators and community leaders attended the luncheon with CFL students and staff. They enjoyed a meal made with herbs, tomatoes, beets and squash from the garden.

Roselyn “Rosie” Ellington, the CFL program coordinator, voiced her appreciation for Piper and other CFL staff members, as well as the Lynne F. Solon Foundation. The nonprofit provides resources for people living with diabetes and other disabilities, and they helped fund the garden project.

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“We not only want to celebrate the garden, but we want to celebrate all of you sitting here today,” Ellington told the foundation members and other luncheon attendees. “You are invited here today and you’re sitting here because you are some of our biggest advocates of the program. And we are so thankful for all your love and support of our College for Life students and staff and overall programs.”

The gardening class is offered each semester, so students are able to engage with the garden in every season. This was the second annual luncheon. Both Piper and Ellington noted that they hope to see the garden grow. They plan to find a permanent location for the garden and expand it over the next few years.

“We envision a big learning landscape right in the middle of campus,” Piper added. “We have big dreams for our garden.”

To learn more about the College for Life program, visit their official website.

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