Teen helps feed others

Friday, August 20, 2010
Brooks Lamb in his garden, wearing one of his "Project: Plant a Seed" t-shirts, donated by Jabbers of Lewisburg.

A Forrest High School sophomore is following a family tradition of helping other people.

Brooks Lamb, 16, planted a half-acre garden on his family's farm north of Chapel Hill this spring, and has been delivering his harvest every week to families in Chapel Hill and Lewisburg who need fresh food. Liggett Street Church of God member Ricky Tears set up the connection between Lamb and church members. The news spread by word of mouth, and Lamb makes deliveries all around town on Saturdays.

Chapel Hill Co-op manager Ken Jordan donated seeds, some fertilizer, and Bonnie Plants seedlings.

Brooks put in 110 tomato plants, three rows of okra, 30-40 pepper plants, 60 squash, 40 zucchini, 50 cucumbers, 12 rows of corn, and planted 200 pounds of seed potatoes.

For a while he had to carry well water to the garden to help the tomatoes, squash and peppers get established, but now everything is going strong. Now he's waiting to harvest potatoes, still has corn, okra, and peppers and the tomatoes are doing well.

"I had a lot of squash," Brooks said, but it suffered with the hot, dry weather, along with the zucchini and cucumbers.

Brooks admits the weeds got away from him during the time he had to help his father. Ken Lamb is in charge of the track for the Lions Club Super Pull of the South, and Brooks and a friend were his "go-fers" during preparations for the Pull.

Brooks was active in Future Farmers of America last year, and says he hopes to talk to chapters in surrounding counties about other FFA members maybe starting gardens like his.

"Anything to help more people is kind of what we're going for," he said.

His family has deep roots in Chapel Hill. The 75-acre farm on Thick Road has been in the family for at least 100 years. Both of his parents graduated from Forrest, and his mother, Angela, is cafeteria manager at Chapel Hill Elementary.

Brooks' oldest brother, Michael, was president of the Rhodes College chapter of Habitat for Humanity, for two years, and is now working on Roy Herron's bid for election to the House of Representatives. Older brother Patrick is an Emergency Medical Technician and a volunteer fireman, and is trying to get taken on as a full-time fireman.

"I guess it's just in our family: the volunteering and stuff," Brooks said. He's had help with the garden from family and friends, and rewards some with one of the "Project: Plant a Seed" t-shirts that Jabbers of Lewisburg gave him.