The first to bloom is hope.
Then the peas.
Then the lettuce.
Like the peas or the potatoes, every person needs the right conditions to grow and thrive. Unfortunately, not all Boys Home students come from conditions that are right for them to grow and thrive. At Boys Home, however, staff members work tirelessly to ensure that every young man in our care receives the help and resources he needs to succeed. At Boys Home, every student is encouraged to develop his dreams and then be supported as he works toward them.
One such student dropped out of high school at the age of fifteen and went to work at a fast food restaurant. Realizing later that he wanted to complete high school, but that traditional academics were not the best option for him, he came to live at Boys Home. Now, he is well on his way to earning a high school diploma and a basic certification in HVAC, and his hopes for the future go above and beyond a minimum-wage job at McDonalds.
Alongside a variety of other applied trades opportunities, the sustainable agriculture program is one more resource available to Boys Home students. So far, students have learned about and helped with preparing the greenhouse and the planting sites. Other students have attended workshops on garden planning and planting, and plan to plant flowers outside their cottages. As the growing season progresses, students will help with planting, weeding, harvesting, and preserving produce.
Considering the average frost-free date in the Alleghany Highlands is May 10th, the program is still primarily in the planning stages. Cool-weather crops such as peas and lettuce have started to sprout, some of the potatoes have been planted, and more seeds are ready to go in the ground. For all of our seeds – the peas, the beans, the lettuce, and the seeds of hope – we are hopeful and looking to the future.