Highlander is starting a vegetable garden this spring to grow fresh produce for our Workshop Center. The 5,400 square foot garden, just up the hill from the office, will provide plenty of room for squash, greens, melons, beets, carrots, onions, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, and more.
Plowing the garden
Preparing beds for planting
Last week, Highlander staff members Johnny Bailey and Tony Denton spent part of a day refurbishing an old plow that had not been used for years. That afternoon, the field was plowed and disced by our friend and neighbor A.J. Hoeffner and his son James. The Hoeffners own the cows that graze on Highlander’s property and have been farming in this area all their lives.
This evening, Jenny Paris, one of our new farm interns, and Drew Elliott, a volunteer from Kentucky, began preparing beds in the garden for planting. Seedlings are already growing in flats in several of our buildings, started by Kaylea Algire, who is just completing a six-month internship at Highlander, and by Jenny, Drew, and Joshua Diamond, our other farm intern.
The vegetable garden is part of a broad effort to use Highlander’s land and facilities in a more sustainable way to support and enhance our work for social, economic, and racial justice. Other projects include transitioning our orchard to organic cultivation methods, installing rain barrels to harvest water for use in our gardens, and developing trails for workshop participants and other visitors.
Helping with these efforts will be part of the focus of the Wild & Wonderful, Witty & Wacky Workshop Work Week at Highlander on May 25-29, 2009. The work week will also include workshops on popular education, organizing, movement building, and the history of social change, as well as cultural events and time for informal discussions. You can learn more and sign up to participate here.
Many thanks to Johnny, Tony, A.J., James, Kaylea, Jenny, Josh, and Drew for their work on the garden. We’re sure that folks eating at the Workshop Center later this year will appreciate the results as well!