The project is selling cut flowers at The Wild Ramp, a Huntington food market, for $5 to $10. There are also plans to grow for restaurants and sell produce on site.
"The money made from sales goes back into the children's pockets," Arthur said. "The way we're going to do that is it's based on need. Say they want to take a dance class, extracurricular activities, school clothes, that kind of thing. It's money for them to use to fill in the gaps."
They also expect to produce green beans, strawberries, cucumbers, culinary herbs and even herbs for healthy and beauty products, like lip balm this year.
Arthur said he hopes to expand the garden even further in the future. The garden doubled last year when the city knocked down a few adjacent buildings.
"We hope to take on several more properties for high yield production," he said. "We'll keep it nearby - this is our hub - our classroom garden."
The addition will continue to help progress that's already been made. Arthur said he's hearing positive feedback from the community, which has had a negative reputation.
"Everybody freaks out because I leave the garden like this; everyone thought we were going to get robbed or vandalized," Arthur said. "But everybody takes care of the garden form the neighborhood. It's the neighborhood's garden. ... I hear positive things all the time."
What's most important is the positive effect it's having on the children, he said.
"Teachers talk that they noticed homework was getting done, that there is more attention in school. Third-grade science teachers are amazed at how much it fits in, and these kids are ahead of the curve when it comes to that because they have hands-on, real life experience," Arthur said.
"I had no idea it was going to be what it is. ... I had no idea it was going to be this important and the kids were going to identify with it and lean on it as heavily as they are and be as proud as they are. It's wonderful. And we're just beginning - just scratching the surface."
For more information or to get involved, email barth...@wvstateu.edu, find SCRATCH on Facebook or call 304-543-0758.
Contact writer Candace Nelson at Candace.Nel...@dailymail. com or 304-348-5148. Follow her at www.twitter.com/Candace07.