And it seems to never fail to transfer to the hearts and hands of the youngsters he inspires.
It’s year two for the community garden Green spearheaded down by the railroad tracks on Tinney Street in Talladega, next door to the church and school he and his wife Gwen head in Talladega.
It’s a weekday morning just before school let out for the year, and Green is talking with students in the agriculture program at Talladega High School at the garden site.
Green issued an invitation for he students to join in the garden project and their teacher, Allan Bice, was all for it.
It’s only been a couple of weeks since the class traveled to the garden site to set out seeds and plants, and already, their efforts are showing.
Fluffy squash plants are spreading across the raised bed rows and okra is standing tall and straight.
Tomato plants are reaching good heights and the rattlesnake beans are crawling up the wire supports Green put in.
The garden is looking good, and Green wanted the students to see it for themselves.
Wearing his signature garden hat and smile, Green calls out, “You see what you planted? Isn’t that something?”
The class gathers around, walking carefully through the rows, looking at the fruits of their labor, careful not to put a foot in the wrong place and disturb the growing plants.
“It’s amazing,” their teacher notes.
The garden became a group effort between Green, his church, Diversity Christian Center, and state and local agencies last year after he approached Talladega County Extension Office Coordinator Wanda Jurriaans about the idea.
It was late February, and Green had the garden project in mind, but not just to grow food, but to help grow a community connection and reach out to youth.
Early on, Green said he knew there were people “right here in the community” who need food, economic times were unpredictable at best, and he knew how important it could be for young people to learn how to help themselves through times when money was tight.
There were other things the garden could do, too, he said, things like teaching young people to market their products, to meet and greet and take care of their customers with a vegetable stand on site and to learn abut sharing what they didn’t sell, taking it to people in their community who could use the food they raised.
The Greens planned and held workshops for the youngsters in he program, working with Extension experts and representatives from the Coosa Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council along with the Natural Resource Conservation Service.
Last year, there was so much produce Geed said he and his fellow harvesters could barely keep up with the picking.
This year, there’s every reason to expect the same. The garden is planted using a plastic culture method, which increases production of conventional gardening by three to four times.
The method involves using underground irrigation and fertilizing pumped through the garden to raised beds wrapped in plastic coverings.
“Market Days” will be announced as the produce is ready, and the public can come and buy fresh produce from the site.
On this work day, students helped encourage the running beans to climb the wire supports, gently taking the new sprigs and training them to climb the wire.
Jurriaans said she has been greatly impressed with the project, especially with the way the youth have responded.
“They took so much pride in what they produced,” she said. “And I have seen so many good traits in them, such as responsibility and good work ethics, pride and good public relations, and these will continue into other areas of their lives.”
Jurriaans said she was especially impressed with the way the student workers managed the vegetable stand.
“They even took it upon themselves to load the vegetables into their customers’ cars,” she said. “It made me think of how it was years ago shopping at the grocery store.”
Strengthening communities is important, too, she added.
“A great thing about this is while developing new skills, community members are forming new bonds,” Jurriaans said. “And they’re having fun, too.”