What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to get your hands in the dirt? If you agree, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWiA) wants to invite you to a day of service they are sponsoring for their Community of Gardens (CoG).
The Community of Gardens is a network of community, service agency, church, and K-8 school gardens that provides low-income families in the High Country with access to fresh, local produce.
Several of the gardens offer plots to low-income families, encouraging them to grow their own food, while others donate the produce they grow to local food banks and the F.A.R.M. (Feeding All Regardless of Means) Cafe.
Many of the gardens are also part of the Lettuce Learn Program which provides resources, lesson plans, and workshops to K-8 school gardens.
“We wanted to have a day of service so the High Country could learn more about local food system via this network of gardens providing food for low-income families and education for local schoolchildren”, said Sandra Diaz, the CoG coordinator for the program.
When Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture realized that the Appalachian State University’s ACT Office, was hosting a Farm Day of Service on the same weekend, they decided to collaborate. The ACT office provides service experiences to App State students as opportunities to connect and engage with others, to build authentic relationships, stimulate critical thinking and skill building, and recognize individual impact and responsibility to our local and global community.
The Farm Day of Service is an annual event in which Appalachian State students serve at local farms and non-profits. Student volunteers provide direct, hands-on service to participating farms. This Day of Service is held on or near Earth Day as a reminder of the importance of sustainable practices in farming, food purchasing, and agriculture.
The Farm Service Day has capacity for 80 students, and Blue Ridge Women’s goal is to recruit 20 more community members for a total of 100 people serving gardens and farms across the High Country in one day.
If you are a community member interested in supporting local farms and gardens on Earth Day weekend, please visit communityofgardens.brwia.org. Appalachian State students can register through the AppSync website .