A Passion for Produce and Helping Others in the Community

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. -- Out in nature surrounded by plants, vegetation and clean, natural produce -- that's where Hannah Burke says she feels most comfortable.

"When you plant the seed and it finally comes up, you get to harvest it," Burke said. "It's like all that hard work paid off."

The soon-to-be sophomore at Blue Mountain High School was the driving force behind bringing a community garden to Bubeck Park in Schuylkill Haven back in March. On Wednesday, she and others were out in the heat for the garden's first big distribution.

"We had the first community harvest for the garden," Burke said. "We picked some lettuce and tomatoes that fell on the ground and we're going to donate it to the Schuylkill Haven area food pantry."

At just 16 years old, Hannah already has her own all-natural gardening company and pitched to renovate a greenhouse at Blue Mountain High School, an idea that the district approved. Her love for this hobby starting after her father was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

"She does a lot of work out of the goodness of her heart for the benefit of the community," Frank Musitano of Blue Mountain School district says. "She gets things done with respect to putting her focus to projects and making them happen."

"She has a vision," Hannah's mom Amy said. "She wants to have a community garden in every small town."

Soon, there will be another addition to this community garden. Hannah plans on growing potatoes in recycled tires. Anyone in the area can also buy their own plot to grow vegetables at the garden.

Hannah is also raising money to go to a Climate Reality Summit in Minneapolis later this summer.

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