2020 Backyard Gardens Program now accepting applications

CONTRIBUTED — The Build It Up Backyard Gardens Program is now accepting applications for the 2020 program. A project of the Appalachian Resource Conservation & Development Council, the Build It Up Backyard Gardens Program is a yearlong program that teaches families how to raise fresh and nutritious food in their own backyards. Participants will receive assistance with tilling, monthly workshops on how to garden, and gardening supplies.

No previous gardening experience is required. Families with young children, folks receiving SNAP benefits, and youth ages 14-24 will be given priority in the application process and are strongly encouraged to apply. The application can be found at http://builditupetn.com/index.php/backyard-gardener-program/. Applications will close on February 7 or when the program reaches its 25-family capacity, whichever comes first. A detailed description of the program and its requirements can be downloaded at the above link.

This is the sixth year of the Backyard Gardens Program and Build It Up has so far assisted 150 families with their gardens. In 2019, our backyard gardeners, community and school gardens raised over 14,000 pounds of food!

Emily Purcell of the 2019 program says, “The knowledge I have gained from Build It Up has allowed us more success in the last two years than I had imagined possible.” To read the stories of some of our participating families, check out our blog at http://builditupetn.com/index.php/blog/.

This program is funded by Grow Appalachia, a foundation out of Berea College in Berea, Ky. Grow Appalachia funds programs in 30 communities in five states. Nearby programs include Rural Resources in Greeneville, Tennessee and Grow Your Own, a project of Appalachian Sustainable Development in Abingdon, Va.

Appalachian Resource Conservation and Development Council (ARCD) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization serving the six-county region of Northeast Tennessee. The mission of ARCD is to conserve natural resources and improve rural economies through community leadership and enhanced educational opportunities. For more information on ARCD and its programming, please visit arcd.org.

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