By Jason Von Kundra of Sprouting Hope in Marion, VA

New this year, Sprouting Hope is branching out from our community garden to support eight families to grow food organically at their own homes. To further our mission of feeding the community by growing and sharing healthy produce, home gardens increase our impact and provide a lasting change for participating families.

As in our community garden, this new program follows our principles of a hand up, instead of a hand out. Participating families will be partners in the program.

Sprouting Hope will provide:

  • Soil Sample, Seeds, Plants, Organic Fertilizer, Soil Amendments, Organic Pesticides, Fungicides, Season Extension Supplies, Fencing, Irrigation Supplies, Tools, and Canning Supplies. Approximately $400 Value
  • Tilling Services
  • Technical Support: Garden Planning, Organic Gardening Techniques, Season Extension, Cooking, and Food Preservation
  • Home visits twice per month to provide support

Participants will provide:

  • Land (minimum 400 square feet)
  • Labor
  • Harvest Figures (track by volume of each crop)
  • Attendance at six classes throughout the growing season (Located at the Hungry Mother Lutheran Retreat Center with transportation available if needed)

The program is open to anyone living in Marion with access to enough arable land. A diverse group of families (some elderly, others below the poverty line, or with young children) are expected to grow nearly two tons of fresh produce to feed their families during the growing season, put up food for the winter, share with the community, and sell locally. The program was announced at local food pantries, soup kitchens, and in the local newspaper attracting significant interest from the community.