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Grower’s Corner: Sweet Potato Project

Conserving water while making an impact on youth

Efficient irrigation strategies are essential to meet groundwater sustainability goals within the North Kings GSA. The Sweet Potato Project inspires youth to make a difference through teaching farming practices using efficient irrigation methods within the North Kings GSA boundary.

“We know that water is very important, so we make sure that we don’t waste any water,” said Andre Smith, Program Assistant for the Sweet Potato Project. 

On the 2-acre sweet potato farm off West California and South Grantland avenues, water is typically given directly to the sweet potato plants through drip lines to ensure there’s no wasted water.

The Sweet Potato Project is a prevention program for African American youth ages 12 to 15 years old. It aims to prevent drug use, school drop-out rates, and gang involvement in the Fresno area.

Patrick Hamilton, Program Manager for the Sweet Potato Project, started the program with about 10 kids, and this spring, the program welcomed its largest cohort yet with about 35 kids.

The Sweet Potato Project also hopes to diversify the area’s farming community both now and with generations to come.

The North Kings GSA’s groundwater sustainability goals are made possible by all growers within the boundary. The agency reminds growers during wet years like 2023, it’s important to take as much surface water as possible to reduce demand on the aquifer. The North Kings GSA’s sustainable irrigation guide explains recommendations on irrigation practices.

To learn more about the Sweet Potato Project and how you can contribute, visit the website here.

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