Earlier this year, when a tornado ripped through Hattiesburg, Mississippi, it left a scene of destruction in its wake. But as the storm-ravaged residents set about clearing fallen trees and branches, Jody Mabary saw an opportunity to create a space that pays homage to nature’s gentler side—by constructing a community garden from all of that storm debris.

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Mabary was among the many Hattiesburg residents impacted by the Feb. 10 tornado which damaged or destroyed dozens of homes and businesses around town. As cleanup efforts got underway, however, Mabary had an idea to salvage storm debris in a way that would encourage others to not only pick up the pieces, but to put them to good use.

With the help of a friend, landscape designer Beau Lackey, Mabary collected logs from felled trees and lumber from destroyed homes to construct the framework of a sustainable vegetable garden in his from yard.

“We looked at the destruction around and we just kind of wanted to do something that the people could watch grow,” Jody Mabary told local news station WDAM.

Mabary hopes that his debris-built garden will inspire others to consider converting their rarely used front yards into urban farming operations as well—growing not only healthy, organic vegetables, but also the sense that a better community can rise from the rubble of disaster. And sometimes, quite literally.

+ Tornado Garden

Via WDAM News 7

Photos courtesy of Jody Mabary