Summer GROWth

August 19, 2014 9:03 pm


At the farm today the sun is shining on the fresh, green leaves of young transplants. Each of these arrivals to the newly turned soil is absorbing that sunlight, making sugars for energy so that cells can expand and multiply into longer roots, bigger leaves and stronger stems. Microbes in the soil are amassing networks and villages alongside the roots, helping to ferry nutrients from the soil to the plant in exchange for extra sun-produced sugars.

The activity that goes on unseen to the passing human eye is astounding. It is an industrious world of mutual coexistence; Choreographed and improvised dances are producing the magic of a plant. Even after only four days absent from the garden, I can pull back the row-cover and be wowed by the way a plant has doubled in size since my last inspection.


So too the workings of Project GROWS. This is the first blog post since the end of May. Imagine back to that time and envision Project GROWS as its own variety of young plant. It was brimming with potential energy, eager. And now, two months later, pull back the fabric and see what has occurred! Hooray! There is a huge plant with new branches and leaves and under the dark soil, new roots as well. What has happened to turn that small, promising plant into the green giant it is today?

We have had many volunteer days, where members of the community come on Thursdays to help us with our daily tasks. We have had groups of children and youth visiting, creating the foundation of education and experiential learning that is at the core of our work (stay tuned for the next blog, a reflection on these educational experiences). We have countless days of harvesting and selling our vegetables at the Farmers’ Market to smiling, curious people. We have had the support and weekly routine of our CSA baskets- vegetables making their way from our fields into 21 homes all in one day.

These are the activities that make up the anatomy of this Project GROWS plant that you now see in front of you. Plenty of work went into every cell and every leaf. Our staff makes it strong, but our community support is the soil and roots from which we grow, the youth are the many suns that inspire us and give us energy.

Today we unfurl a new leaf to the sun with this blog, one of many in the growing story of Project GROWS which, by the way, is definitely a perennial.





May 23, 2014 5:22 pm

In this post we want to highlight the power of volunteers and community partners to make the work we do both possible and successful.


Volunteers help us dig out a footer for our forthcoming walk-in cooler!

There’s a lot happening at Project GROWS this time of year. Plants and seeds are in the ground and growing, kids are out on the farm, we go to the Farmers’ Market every Saturday in Waynesboro and Wednesday in Verona. Having six staff members helps. But we are successful in all of this because of the wonderful support we have from our community – YOU! 

On May 1st we kicked off our first Volunteer Day and Potluck dinner (Join us every Thursday between 2 and 8pm!). We had over 20 people show up to help us plant onions in our newly cultivated beds outside the fence. They don’t say, “many hands make light work” for nothing – with the help of kids, parents, friends and staff, we managed to plant thousands of onions in one afternoon – way more than we could have managed alone.

We always celebrate our work with a delicious meal. In addition to what we can provide from the farm, we are able to feed volunteers every week with locally and sustainably raised meat from nearby Polyface Farms. This all helps us to fill our bellies and fulfill our mission of increasing access to healthy food. It is always a joy to be able to connect the work of multiple farms and people!


Thank you so much to our volunteers and partners like Polyface. You make our Project GROWS community strong, healthy and ready for another day on the farm!

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