Greenhouse helps kids grow, learn and heal

The Boys and Girls Home greenhouse sat idle for several years, until Buddy and Sherry Kennedy spearheaded an effort to get it growing again. (Courtesy photo)
The Boys and Girls Home greenhouse sat idle for several years, until Buddy and Sherry Kennedy spearheaded an effort to get it growing again. (Courtesy photo)

The greenhouse for the Boys and Girls Home of North Carolina is finally seeing the fruits — and vegetables —  of love coming to life.  

A greenhouse on campus sat empty for several years. What started out as project soon fizzled out due to a lack of staff and resources, but when Buddy Kennedy came aboard three years ago, he saw it as an opportunity for those who mattered the most: the kids. 

Kennedy has been gardening the majority of his life, and always found it to be therapeutic. He said the same approach has worked wonders for the children.  

The staff have a rotating schedule for the kids, and keep them as involved as possible. Each one has a chance to get their hands dirty three or four times a week, and they are involved in every aspect of growing the veggies, from seed to produce. 

“The kids do the planting, the weeding, and the watering. They are excited to see the fruits of their labor.” says Kennedy. 

He works the garden the everyday himself, making sure the plants stay alive, and he is always there if one of the kids is having a bad day, and just needs a little gardening therapy away from everyone else. He hopes one day to also incorporate some animals into the mix, and offer the children more to nurture.  

 The Boys and Girls Home currently have a distributor who buys their produce, and the home’s Country Store, also located at Lake Waccamaw, sells their wares at the front of the store. 

All the vegetables are organic, and the only additives are hard work, sweat, and water. Kennedy plans to set up a produce stand over the next couple weeks, not only for the public to see the positive outcome of the program, but also offer the kids another set of life skills. 
“I want them to be involved in all aspects of the business. It will give them a chance to learn management skills, and see how distribution works. We haven’t decided on an exact location yet, but we hope to get things up and running this week or the next.” states Kennedy. 

He says the most important thing to him throughout the entire process is that everything goes back to the children. 

“The children remind me a lot of the plants when they first arrive. Small and in need of love and attention. The greatest reward for me is to watch the kids grow, just like the plants grow. It’s rewarding to them to see the pay off in the end. It’s the same thing for me, too.”  

  • Crystal Faircloth

    Crystal Faircloth • Photographs

    Have you ever found yourself cleaning out the closet and happen upon a box of old pictures you forgot you had? Your hand grazes the dust to find those ancient treasures from long ago that [Read More]
  • Front Page

    Boating Safety Encouraged

    National Safe Boating Week, as proclaimed by Governor Roy Cooper, is May 21 – 27 and officials with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission say that safety should be a top priority when recreating on water. The agency [Read More]
  • The group creating the city's flood print iwill return to downtown Whiteville Thursday. (WDDC graphic)
    Front Page

    Flood Study Group Returns Thursday

    See related story here: Whiteville Downtown Development announced today that the NCSU Coastal Dynamics Design Lab (CDDL) will be back in the city Thursday as part of the ongoing flood print study. On this [Read More]
  • Florence rain
    Front Page

    Hurricane Season Expected to be Busy

    Related story: Flood Study Group Returns Thursday Hurricane season officially begins June 1, and federal weather forecasters are calling for the seventh busy season in a row. There’s a 65 percent chance of an above [Read More]
  • James Edward Coleman

    James Edward Coleman

    James Edward Coleman, age 76, of Chadbourn, NC, died Monday, May 23, 2022 in the Regency Hospital of Florence.  Born June 26, 1945, he was the son of the late T.C. Coleman and Nola Bell [Read More]
About Jefferson Weaver 1143 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the managing editor of and news director for WTXY radio. He can be reached at 910.632.4965, or by email at