Wednesday, June 15, 2016

All Work And . . Some Play!

Classes, Classes, Classes!

Here's our teens cooling off in the creek after class!

Catastrophic Kitchen Chicken Nuggets: 

Emily is the apple of our                  Alyssa is learning to prepare 
                eye.                                                   chicken. 

The teens went to the UT Extension Office this week for a class led by Kitty. They practiced their knife safety skills and ability to follow a recipe. The dish of the day was a Poppyseed Chicken Salad with strawberries and apples. The kids were skeptical at first, but they were fighting for the last bite by the end of the class! They all took a recipe home and plan to make this for their families. This week they also met with Kitty to make pizzas and at the farm to learn about drying herbs!

The V-Team: 

Kayla, from the office, led the class on rain barrels. The teens painted them and learned all about their use. Rain barrels can collect rainwater o be used to water the garden. It is a historic farming practice. the teens enjoyed the class very much and some even said they would like to use the practice on their own gardens! 
But the barrels weren't the only ones painted!


Mark it on your calendar, because it's going to be great! 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Things Are "Hopping" Down at the Farm!

Yes, things are hopping at the farm today!

Four young ladies who graduated from the Farm and Food Teen Training Program in the last few years have returned as interns. They spent the morning hard at work in the rabbit barn that houses mini rex, angora and meat rabbits. They scrubbed enclosures, cleaned the barn and groomed the angoras. Great job, ladies!

While the interns were hard at work, Miss Debbie taught a class about food preservation. The teens will soon be in the kitchen at First Presbyterian Church, one of our important and much appreciated community partners, to get some hands-on experience with making jam. Some of us are hoping a jar will find its way to the office. We will gladly serve as volunteer taste testers!

Farmer Melissa kept busy -- as always -- harvesting produce and flowers and preparing them for market. In addition to CSAs, she hosts a unique outdoor dining and movie experience at her River House Farm. You can find out more about that on Facebook and Instagram @riverhousefarm.


And littlest, but certainly not least, our little sprouts in Farm Day Camp learned about worms and how seeds sprout.  Robin and Joy kept it fun and provided many experiential learning opportunities along the way. 

Whew! Summer has barely begun and the farm is already a busy place! You won't want to miss out on any of it, so check our website and Facebook page often to keep in touch -- or better yet, come on down and see us!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Summer Kickoff!

Summer has just begun and so have the activities!
 As rays of light start shining through the treetops,
our teens are shining even brighter.


Alyssa Mabry and Janice Graf                         Maryem Sherman

        On June 2, "Catastrophic Kitchen Chicken Nuggets" met out at the farm under the new pavilion for a preservation class. Janice Graf, the mother of our own Debbie Strickland, led the class on making strawberry jam! The teens learned how to sterilize the jars, use pectin to thicken, and use basic canning equipment including the hot water bath canner.

Say hello to Taylor Boles and The V-Team!

Taylor Boles is Rural Resources new Garden Manager! Taylor is going to college for Environmental Engineering. She has attended Warren Wilson and Walter's State. She is in charge of teaching the teens all about how to maintain a garden. They've covered pest management, plants diseases, garden maintenance, and worm composting. Every teen has the opportunity to take home some "worm tea" which is a liquid fertilizer.


This summer we have six interns working with Rural Resources. We have teens working in the office, with the rabbits, and at the Soup Kitchen with Mary Goldwin. Our interns will be very busy with summer! 

First Little Sprouts

Here we have this week's Farm Day Campers. We are in for some eventful weeks and the spots have been filling up quick! We caught them under the Rotary Pavilion after having a wonderful time in the creek. Summer is kicking off to a great start with this bunch!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Rotary Pavilion at Rural Resources

Rural Resources puts spotlight on 

builders, donors of new Rotary Pavilion

  Greeneville’s two Rotary Clubs, in partnership with Rotary District 7570 and Rural Resources, dedicated a new pavilion at the Rural Resources farm on Holly Creek Road on April 5. The pavilion will provide a gathering place for children in Farm Day Camp, for the teens in the Farm and Food Teen Training Program, and for the community at summer Suppers on the Farm. The Rotary Club of Greeneville and the Greeneville Morning Rotary Club joined forces last spring and applied for a matching grant from Rotary District 7570.  The District stretches from Greeneville in the south to Front Royal, Virginia in the north. Greeneville was one of only four collaborative grants to be approved for funding in the 2015-2016 year.
     Rotary Noon Club President Heather Patchett said, “We are committed to “Service Above Self” and wanted very much to find a meaningful project that would make a difference in our community.  Both our Club and the Morning Rotary Club have been involved with Rural Resources and we knew a pavilion would be a great asset to them.”
Morning Rotary Club President Chris O’Dell added, “We are excited to be able to make a difference in lives of so many young people in Greene County.” Rural Resources has lost two significant structures in the last several years, one to a fire and one to age and instability.  The new pavilion sits on the site of the old barn that had to be taken down, and will provide programming space for the non-profit’s many community programs. 
     A number of local businesses and community members joined the Rotary Clubs in raising money 
to fund the project.  Rural Resources entered the partnership by funding the construction of the 
foundation for the new pavilion.  Donors to the project will be recognized for their support on posts in the pavilion.Local contractor Roy Darnell was selected to build the pavilion, which was designed by Rural Resources Board member Lori Wright. Darnell began work on the site in early January, and 
could be found working through the snow and cold to get the project completed.  A volunteer 
work day was held March 15 and the pavilion hosted its first event on March 19.  
Rural Resources Executive Director Sally Causey and Patchett shared the story of the pavilion’s 
evolution during the gathering.  First Presbyterian Church’s senior minister and former Rural 
Resources Board member , the Rev. Dr. Dan Donaldson, led the prayer of dedication for the new 
pavilion, assisted by Rev. Jamie Lively from Cumberland Presbyterian Church and Rev. James 
Dumond from Reformation Lutheran Church.  
     Contractor Roy Darnell, designer Lori Wright, and Rotarians Dave Effler, Tom Mroczko and 
Danny Gaby were recognized for their work and leadership on the project.  Donors of $500 and 
$1,000 or more were recognized by having their names on the posts that support the new 
     Rural Resources Executive Director shared with those gathered that the new pavilion “has been a 
tremendous gift to Rural Resources.  This is just what we’ve needed, and the construction 
activity has given us new energy.  We can’t wait for the activities that will take place there!”
For 23 years, Rural Resources has served as a community outreach and education center for 
sustainable agriculture in Greene County. The non-profit organization cultivates relationships 
between agricultural leaders and the next generation of farmers through its programming, which 
includes Field Trips, Farm Day Camp, Farm & Food Teen Training and upcoming Farm & Food 
Outreach initiatives. The new Rotary Pavilion at Rural Resources will allow us to more 
effectively work toward our goal to connect farms, food and families. Rotary International was founded in 1905.  
     The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through its fellowship of business, professional and community leaders. Since 1979, Rotary and its partners have eradicated 99.9% of polio cases in the world. The Rotary Club on Greeneville, which meets at noon on Tuesdays at the General Morgan Inn, celebrated its 95th anniversary last year. The Greeneville Morning Rotary Club meets at 7 a.m. on Wednesdays in the Laughlin Hospital cafeteria meeting room. Those interested in membership are always welcome to attend.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

FFTT Teens Take a Road Trip!

A group of teens from the Rural Resources' Farm and Food Teen Training Program took a road trip to Southwest Virginia on April 1st to get a taste of farm to table living. Debbie Strickland, director of the program, arranged the trip to Harvest Table Farm and Restaurant so the youth could see a retail application of a local food system.

"I really want them to grasp the concept of farm to table," Strickland said, "not just to their own table but in a very nice restaurant."

Samantha Eubanks, Harvest Table's resident farmer, and intern Kai Conley took the group on a hands-on, educational tour of the farm. The teens learned about cover cropping, companion planting and poultry production, among other things. Along the way, they tasted radish flowers, young asparagus shoots and rhubarb. 

Eubanks -- or farmer Sam, as she's known -- said the farm is designed to be sustainable.

"I studied permaculture in college and my major was agroecology," explained Eubanks. "So I tried to set up the farm in a way that sets up a self-sustaining ecosystem. That goes hand in hand with the principles of permaculture. One thing that I should really say, is that everything in permaculture should have three functions. When we make a decision on the farm, we think of three different reasons that something is going to help us. For example, the radishes. They are breaking up the soil by growing down into the soil, becoming large and then decomposing. They are also covering the soil so that it's not being washed away and they're providing flowers, which is food for the insects."

The farm provides between 40 and 80 percent of the Harvest Table restaurant's produce needs.

"They supplement a lot with local farmers," Eubanks said. "I'm constantly communicating with the chefs, telling them what we have, what's available. Then they're constantly talking to other farmers. ... Really the idea is that we're filling in what they don't have. We're growing a lot of lettuce, onions, kale, radishes, throughout the summer, things that people might have in the fall or spring but they don't have year round. We're trying to fill that gap."

From the farm, the group drove just over two miles to the restaurant and guild shop. They enjoyed farm-fresh creations beautifully prepared by Executive Chef Phillip Newton, Sous Chef Bradley Griffin, and Baker Mary Heath. Though the atmosphere is casual, the neo-Appalachian cuisine blends the concept of locally grown with fine dining flair. 

The Meadowview Farmers' Guild adjacent to the restaurant was the last stop. Over 200 vendors participate in the guild, offering a wide variety of products that range from arts and crafts to food items. 

For more information about Harvest Table Restaurant and Farm, visit the link below:
13180 Meadowview Square
Meadowview, VA 24361
For more information about the Rural Resources' Farm and Food Teen Training Program, visit the Rural Resources' website at:

And be sure to check out the video link to see highlights from the trip!


Monday, April 4, 2016

East Tennessee Lexicon of Sustainability

Rural Resources is now serving as the Lending Library for the East Tennessee Lexicon of Sustainblity. AmeriCorps member Kayla Carter, who serves as the Communications Coordinator, is the curator for the pop-up art show. If your organization would like to host the art show, please contact her at There are 20 informational artworks that aim to educate the community about terminology often heard in and around the local food movement in the region. Easels were built by volunteers and made out of tobacco sticks as a tribute to our state's heritage.

Upcoming events are at ETSU's Farmers Market, Johnson City's Farmers Market Pavilion Grand Opening, Jonesborough's Farmers Market and Fox Park Fair Farmers Market. We have already worked with the Appalachian Resource Conservation and Development Council, Build It Up East Tennessee and ETSU's Sustainability Department.

Keep up with the Lexicon on Facebook!

Also, email Kayla to sign up to receive email updates about local food events at which the Lexicon will be set up!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring cleaning with Boca Christian




Sophomores travelling around the county performing random acts of kindness visited the farm on Tuesday. There were about 50 people buzzing around the farm helping us out with some Spring cleaning.

Tasks Accomplished
Stained the new pavilion
Tilled up soil for future gardens
Constructed a worm box 
Constructed a hoop house 
Transplanted strawberries 
Bagged leaves for teens in our program to use in their at-home gardens