This Mercer University medical student is bringing fresh veggies to Macon’s food deserts


Samantha Max

Mercer University third-year medical student Ayana Graham tends her plot at a community garden behind Centenary United Methodist Church in Macon.

On an unseasonably warm February afternoon, Ayana Graham squatted beside a garden plot sprouting bunches of dark green kale and inspected their leaves. She methodically tore off yellowed pieces of lettuce that had dried out during a weekend frost and tossed them in a pile on the grass.

Graham isn’t a master gardener. She’s a third-year student at the Mercer University School of Medicine who had never grown a plant on her own until about a year ago.

Now, Graham maintains a garden near campus and cultivates cucumbers and tomatoes under grow lights in her home.

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