I can’t believe it’s almost August. Time flies when you’re having fun! July was a very busy month for us here at Build It Up in East TN. The first half of the month was drought central while the second half of the month has seen rain almost every day. Throughout the month of July, Lexy and I have been conducting garden visits with all our gardeners. July is a good month for this as it gets people out to weed at a pivotal time in the year and makes them aware of what’s going on in their gardens. Pests, fungal diseases and weeds are at their peak right now, so it’s important to know how to deal with them.

A lot of questions were “what is this spot?” or “what is this pest?”. But we also had questions about saving seeds, when to harvest, and succession sowing. Gardening is so much about trial and error. It’s been fun to see each gardener learn more and more throughout the season. Next week we will have our second to last session and will be talking about fall gardening i.e what to plant, when to plant, and overall soil health.


With it being my first year with Build It Up, I have been learning right alongside our gardeners. It’s been a joy to see such great family involvement. Every single person we visited has a support team. I got to see couples who support each other every step of the way. There are families with children who LOVE helping in the garden. Then there’s was the community aspect. So many people talk with pride about sharing produce with loved ones and neighbors.

This has been a great month to be able to go out (while social distancing and wearing masks) to see and talk to our gardeners. There is something so special about the connection you get to make. This year we haven’t had many opportunities to put faces to the names we see so often on webinars and email. Garden visits made it possible to still have that personal connection with people.

Below are some pictures I have gathered from our garden visits. We are looking forward to fall gardening and seeing our gardeners grow!