Things are coming to an end and as I take time to reflect, one thing I’ve noticed… just like plants want to grow, a community wants to grow. This year was tough but not everything was an uphill battle. Some things seemed to know what to do with little more than providing the right environment.

As a first year garden grant recipient, Grow Morristown was just an idea but is very much a living, growing program now. It’s wildly obvious because as we start looking ahead at year number two, we have a lot of momentum we didn’t have when starting out. From where I’m sitting as a garden manager, it feels different. My job is shifting away from having to push and push a little harder. Now I’m being pulled. That momentum, that pull … that’s the community that has developed and it’s palpable now. We have life!

There are a lot of people to thank for making this possible and in such a short period of time. In no particular order, these are the people who are Grow Morristown and the groups who deserve acknowledgement for supporting us.

Inspired by Build It Up and their program in Johnson City, we could not have possibly survived and thrived this year without that relationship and the mentorship we received so freely. Thank you!

Thank you to Grow Appalachia and everyone in Berea. You brought us into your work and your mission. You funded us and helped connect all the dots. Your frequent check-ins and feedback made it possible to see and move beyond all the challenges of being a first year program.

Thank you to Central Services for being our home… for literally providing us a home and being all the things that go along with that.

To my gardeners… where do I even begin!? Thank you for your enthusiasm, your hard work as individuals, your work as a group and for making the Grow Morristown community all that it has turned into. When you’re on the right track and with the right people, things just fall into place. I’m excited to see how you become an integral part of bringing up the next group of gardeners.

Everyone close to me, I mean everyone, either got their hands dirty or made other sacrifices to make it possible for me to do the things I needed to do. You listened to me when I was bouncing off the walls with excitement and when frustration had gotten the best of me. I’ve told you personally, but I could never say it enough … thank you all for your labor and love!

It’s been an honor ~Jason

Photos from this year’s workshops… taken at the beginning, middle and end of the program.