This has been the most active winter for the Williamson Health & Wellness Center Agriculture team. This is Maria, the Director of Community Agriculture. I have been working at the Wellness Center for six years and this has definitely been our most active year. We are now rolling FOUR deep. We have 3 full time employees including myself, and an AmeriCorps VISTA. Plus, we are able to hire a Saturday market manager.
This winter, we have been exploring some new projects with our newfound help.
American Heart Association Cooking Classes (continued from last year)- We started these classes last year in partnership with the American Heart Assocition. It is a six week cooking class series that focuses on low-sodium meals. We have found that having participants prepare their own meals (instead of a demo) is highly affective. This winter we started hosting the classes at a Sober Living Home (Serenity Pointe, new to Williamson) and through the Drug Court program.
Season Extension – This year, working with the Refresh Appalachia crew, we have been able to grow throughout the entire winter! Right now they have lettuce, carrots and kale being harvested from the high tu nnel. They have also been doing a weekly up market at the community garden for the community!
New partnrship with Refresh Appalachia – with two new crew members working at the garden, we have been able to get a lot done. This crew is working and growing 33 hours a week and we hope to increase production by a ton this year thanks to the crew!
First volunteer group of the season- came from Calvin College in Michigan! They helped prepped the beds for spring, shovel new dirt and compost into the beds and more. Thank you Calvin!