Drop Collaborative seeks donors for COVID-19 home garden program

Published 1:57 pm Monday, April 13, 2020

DC teaches home gardening with online educational materials and local mentorship

The Drop Collaborative has developed a program in response to the COVID-19 crisis that will teach local residents at-home vegetable gardening methods with online training. They are seeking community support to gather needed materials for the project.
The Drop Collaborative (DC) is a small farming education and advocacy organization based in Carter County and a TN Department of Education award-winner as best-practice CTE model. Their mission is to Provide Land, Teach Farming, Mentor Youth and Donate Harvest to the community. Since their inception in 2015, they have donated more than 3,000 pounds of produce back to the community.
At a time of great economic insecurity and uncertainty, it is more important than ever to strengthen the regional food system. DC’s latest program encourages local residents to grow their own food supply and assists their learning process with online support.
A skeleton crew of four Drop Collaborative affiliates brand new to vegetable gardening will record their experience planting 15 raised beds at the Drop Family Farm. They will receive training from an expert raised bed gardener — Kingsport farmer and Master Gardener Ben Hunter. All surplus food will be donated to One Acre Cafe or Second Harvest Food Bank, whose missions involve addressing regional food scarcity.
Participants will benefit from watching the team of brand new gardeners learn with expert advice how to grow their own food source. Other educational tools will include online conference calls, resource documents and Q&A sessions with vegetable gardening experts.
In order to launch this program, The Drop Collaborative is seeking assistance from local businesses, individual donors and community associations to obtain needed materials. Both direct equipment and cash donations will be accepted with a total estimated project budget of $3,400.
Anyone who is interested in donating or becoming a program participant can fill out the DC COVID-19 response form at www.dropcollaborative.com/covid19. To learn more about the Drop Collaborative, watch the 2 minute video at www.dropcollaborative.com.

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