Greetings from Grow Your  Own in Abingdon, VA and my first Blog.

My wonderful VISTA, Heather, has completed her program duties and is now farming for herself.  She is expecting piglets any day now.  Thus, I am learning to take over some of her responsibilities until our new program VISTA, Brian, begins.

This year, ASD will be hosting 3 programs with Grow Appalachia.  One in Washington County VA; using a demonstration garden at a local food pantry to teach organic gardening methods.  We plan to work with 30 participants; 15 1st year gardeners and 15 returning gardeners, and host multiple workshops to the public.

Our second program reaches out to the coal counties of southwest VA.  Tom Fields, our new program manager is working with schools, community leaders, county extension agents and individuals to create multiple community gardens.

Our third program will be built at a town park with the hope of encouraging visitors to learn about Trees that Feed and Round Garden techniques.

Recently, ASD has been working with River’s Way, a local non-profit organization that works with special needs teenagers.  ASD and River’s Way are partnering to create a diverse gardening program and lunch service for senior citizens.  We will be building a hoop house at a local church and the question local funders keep asking is “what can you grow in February?”  Now that we have a hoop house at our food pantry garden we can easily explain that with the right planning and proper plant selection you can harvest lettuce, spinach, kale and carrots at this time of year.