Hi! We’re the Bansemers and we’ve lived in Marion for eight years, not long enough to say we’re from these parts but long enough to have learned some traditions and skills of the Appalachians! We homestead on our little farm with the goal of producing as much of our food on our land as possible. Over the years we’ve kept a variety of animals from alpacas to pigs, chickens and steers. After all our experimenting with animal husbandry, we’ve settled on our favorites and now keep a milk cow, a few steers for meat, laying hens, and meat chickens. While we’ve found our groove with the animals we keep, we’re still learning every year about growing our own food and putting it aside for the winter months. Sprouting Hope has been an invaluable resource and every time we’re at the garden, we learn something new. Where to prune a tomato, how to treat white flies, what to do about blight, when and how to plant in succession are all things we’ve learned from the gardeners who care for us and the garden. Last year we picked over 90 gallons of food from our home garden. Here are a few photos of the food we picked and how we preserve it. We feel honored to live in Appalachia, to learn about the traditions of the resilient people of this area and to ourselves take part in the self sustaining nature of this area. We hope you join with us in continuing to learn more through resources offered by Sprouting Hope. Come volunteer at the garden with us and take home your own fresh produce and keep your eye out for more information about Sprouting Hope’s Homegrown program which helps you plant your own garden at home!