Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Peachy Day at Greeneville Terrace!

While our Farm and Food Teen Training Program gets a lot of play on our blog and Facebook, it's not the only program that operates at Rural Resources. 

Community Outreach Coordinator Rhonda Hensley keeps as busy in the community as Miss Debbie does on the farm with the teens. Two of the more recent programs developed under community outreach include the partnership with Second Harvest for monthly produce distributions in low-income neighborhoods and food preservation classes at Greeneville Terrace. 

The food preservation classes meet regularly and participants have learned to can jams, jellies, soup, tomatoes, salsa, pickles, apple butter, potatoes and more. Below are some photos from the day they made peach jam. It was as delicious as it was fun!

Peeling the peaches.

Time to slice and dice!

Looks yummy!

The next step is mashing the peaches.

There was plenty for everyone to help with!

Beginning to look like jam.

Cooking it down.

Prepping the jars.

Time to fill the jars.

Getting ready to cover the jars.

Peach preserves for the pantry!

Watch for our newsletter for a story about the preservation classes!

Here are some other random pics from peach jam day:

Monday, September 18, 2017

Teens Hope to Tour Berea College

Youth from the Farm and Food Teen Training program hope to tour Berea College in just a few weeks but they need your help. The group is trying to raise $1,500 to cover transportation, lodging and food for the trip. Check out this link to learn more!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Rural Resources Receives Donation

Rural Resources would like to say a big "Thank You!" to Rhiannon Williams!

Rhiannon decided to start a fundraiser for us by "donating" her birthday. She tells about it in her own words at this link:

Thank you, Rhiannon!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Farm and Food Teen Training Participant Accepted to Berea College

Veronica Smith's life reached a crossroads in 2012. The 13-year-old had been on what she now calls "a bad path." Poverty, bad decisions and bad habits left her feeling hopeless about her future. That's when she met Debbie Strickland, program director for Rural Resources' Farm and Food Teen Training program and embarked on a five-year, life-changing experiential learning journey.

Smith credits the program with pointing her life in a better direction.

“Rural Resources showed me I had a very wide range of options,” she said. “They provided me with the support and the structure that a lot of kids in the county need and they put me on a path toward success.”

One step along that path to success was connecting her to Berea College in Kentucky.  Berea College is a tuition free, federally recognized work college for economically disadvantaged students in Appalachia. It is ranked 60 in the 2017 list of best liberal arts colleges in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

Smith, who graduated from South Greene High School in Greene County, Tennessee this year, will be attending Berea in the Fall. She had to prove financial need, as well as academic ability to attend the college.  

Strickland said Smith is the second teen from the program to attend Berea. She is preceded by Faelyn Campbell, graduate of Greeneville High in 2016. Both Smith and Campbell were among a group of program participants that toured the Berea campus with Strickland in 2014.

Smith said she now has clearly defined goals for her education and career.

“After college, I hope to travel with the Peace Corps and teach in underdeveloped countries,” she said. “Then when I come back, I plan to try to teach English and work in education administration to try to make an impact on small county administrative systems and school systems.”

Smith spent four years in the Farm and Food Teen Training program learning about gardening, livestock, culinary arts, and business planning and implementation. During the summer of 2016 she interned at Rural Resources, helping with communications for the program through Facebook, blogging, and public speaking.

“Veronica excelled in the teen program,” Strickland said. “I feel that Berea, a school of that caliber,  is going to open a door for her to change her life and the lives of others. I believe she's going to use this opportunity to the utmost.”

Rural Resources is a nonprofit working to connect farms, food and families through community education, programs to empower food-insecure youth, children’s programs and sustainable agricultural practices to build a vibrant local food economy, as well as addressing the needs of local farmers, gardeners and consumers.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Incredible Farm Dinner on Main!


Incredible Farm Dinner on Main!

JUNE 23, 2017

Photo of Farm to Table Dinner in Jonesborough is courtesy of Woven Creative Studio
Tickets are on sale now for the Incredible Farm Dinner on Main!
Meet us downtown on June 23rd at 7:00 p.m. for dinner and live music on Main Street in Greeneville, Tenn. Reserve your place at the table now!
The Incredible Farm Dinner on Main is the “don’t miss” event of the summer in Greeneville, TN.  Enjoy local fare around one community table set to perfection right in the middle of Main Street!  We will gather at 7pm in the lobby of the Capitol Theatre for hors d’oeuvres and drinks and then be seated on Main for a four course meal.  
This event benefits Rural Resources and the Capitol Theatre and is made possible with generous sponsorship from: Eastman Credit Union, Jost, Inc, Meco, Rogers Family Dentistry, TEVET, The Well Stocked Bar, Towne Square Package Store, Consumer Credit Union, JD Metals,The General Morgan Inn, Through the Eyes of Sam Photography, and others. Special thanks to Catalyst Coffee Company, Jonesborough Locally Grown and First Presbyterian Church.

Special thanks to our lead sponsor:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A New Face At The Farm

Rural Resources welcomed a new face to the farm in June. Ashley Buchanan accepted the Farm Day Camp teacher position for the 2017 summer season. Buchanan’s background in art and agriculture makes her a perfect fit for Farm Day Camp.

“This ended up being a perfect opportunity for me,” said Buchanan, who graduated from Walter’s State this year. “I couldn't ask for something better to just come up out of the blue.”

Buchanan’s plans for the program include “a lot of hands-on experience.” She said they’ll learn about gardening, from starting a seed to harvesting, as well as livestock.

“I definitely want them to have an opportunity to interact with the potbellied pig and the rabbits and the dairy cow,” she said.

She added, “I guess another aspect of it is bringing in my love for the arts. and being able to do some gardening projects that are creative I'm really excited about being able to weave that together and then of course, time in the creek.”

Plans are also in the works to have horses available for children to interact with and there will also be opportunities for fun and learning off the farm, including a hike to a popular local waterfall.

“The older kids we're looking to them to Margarette falls, weather permitting, and if everything goes as planned, on Friday we will get to take them on the hike and take them into a different atmosphere on the trail than on the farm,” she said. “I'm going to do a scavenger hunt along the way to identify different plants and critters.”

Buchanan said she likes to use any kind of opportunity as a learning experience for kids.

“Part of it is influenced by my background. of being in Johnson City and not really having those opportunities for agricultural activities, working with animals or having someone who could teach me about plant sciences,” she said. “We spent a lot of time outside, did the hiking and camping, but the educational part, I'd say was lacking. I just kind of stumbled upon it a couple years ago. and fell in love with it.”

She added, “I think you learn lots of different aspects of just working through life, by learning how to care for animals and plants, and their growth cycle. I think can be applied to our own lives and being able to care for ourselves.”

Faelyn Campbell, a former participant in Rural Resources’ Farm and Food Teen Training Program who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Berea College in Kentucky, is Buchanan’s assistant for the 2017 Farm Day Camp season.

“Having her experience there is phenomenal,” said Buchanan. “She’s familiar with the program and the farm. I think she'll be great. I'm very grateful to have her.”

Buchanan’s ultimate my goal is to become a 4-H extension agent working so she can combine her loves for art, being outdoors and agriculture. She’s planning to continue her education at UT in the agricultural leadership communications and education program to earn a master’s degree.

Farm Day Camp is an opportunity for children ages four to 12 to enjoy a full week of hands-on activities on the farm, learning about food's journey from soil to table while building relationships with the land, plants, animals and each other.
The week-long camps run from June 5 to July 28 at  Rural Resources' Holly Creek Farm, 2870 Holly Creek Rd., Greeneville, TN 37745. Visit the website for more information and to register.

Rural Resources is nonprofit working to connect farms, food and families through community education, youth programs and sustainable agriculture.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Organic Certification Cost Share Program

Do you know about the Organic Certification Cost Share Program? Here are some facts from the USDA:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
National Organic Certification Cost Share Program
(NOCCSP), administered by the USDA Farm Service
Agency (FSA), provides organic producers and
handlers with financial assistance to reduce the cost
of organic certification. The program reimburses
producers and handlers for a portion of their paid
certification costs. Once certified, organic producers
and handlers are eligible to receive reimbursement for
up to 75 percent of certification costs each year, up to
a maximum of $750 per certification scope—crops,
livestock, wild crops and handling. Additional scopes
include transition certification and state program fees.

Certified organic producers and handlers who have
paid certification fees may apply for reimbursement
of the incurred costs.

Yes. Organic certification cost share funds are only
available to certified organic or certified transitional
producers and handlers. Certification must be
provided by a USDA-accredited certifying agent. If
your operation is not currently certified organic and
you would like to learn more about the certification
process, please visit

Eligible costs include application fees, inspection
costs, fees related to equivalency agreement/
arrangement requirements, travel/per diem for
inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage.

Ineligible costs include equipment, materials,
supplies, late fees, and inspections necessary to
address National Organic Program regulatory

The maximum per certification scope (crops,
livestock, wild crops and handling) is $750.
Transition and state certification reimbursements
will be processed separately.

You may apply to a participating state agency
according to their deadlines, or beginning March 20,
2017, you may apply directly to one of over 2,100
FSA offices. Applicants must typically submit a onepage
application form, W-9 tax form (to participating
state agencies), proof of certification and an itemized
invoice of certification expenses.

This fact sheet is provided for informational purposes
only; other eligible requirements may apply. For more
information, visit contact
your local FSA county office. To find an office
nearest you, visit