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A rooftop garden run by the homeless in Atlanta has become so successful they are feeding an entire shelter through their efforts.
The Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless set up the organic garden at a shelter in downtown Atlanta. The garden system includes their own beehive and rainwater collection system to keep the garden lush and growing.
The group is getting ready to take the garden to the next level with a new roof put on by the homeless in the shelter, giving them money and job skills.
“Part of the contract for any construction we will be doing is that indigenous, resident labor will be used and certified, but the requirements are the same as for professional labor,” Executive Director Anita Beaty told Atlanta Progressive News.
“Everything we do here involves residents. They get job training and every job is preparation for a job outside,” Beaty said.
The group will double the size of the garden once the roof is finished.
The addition of a beehive was overwhelmingly successful for the group.
“Because of the elevation, we have less trouble with insects and the mites that attract the bees. The bees have enough to eat on the roof…they don’t go in search of food and bring back pests. We get eight to ten hours of constant sun, nothing blocks the wind, the plants and the bees love it. This rooftop is a microclimate,” Carl Hartrampf, a board member and the rooftop garden coordinator said.
He added the hive grew so big they had to split it in two. They will have honey to sell this fall.