“Sowing Seed, helping feed, inspiring youth to take the lead….”

A multi-partner educational journey for youth in urban Johnson City has begun! Project partners Appalachian RC&D Council, Build It Up East TN, Science Hill Alternative Center Foodtopia Market Gardens, Color My World Healthy, ETSU Medical Library, and Mountain Empire Literacy Outreach, have begun planning and implementing new local gardening, agriculture, and food literacy programming made possible through a recently received two-year grant from the Washington County Community Foundation, a fund of the East TN Foundation.

These organizations have come together to teach youth at three primary sites, the program is collectively named “SOS”: Sowing Seeds of Success and Sustainability and shares the mission of “sowing seeds, helping feed, inspiring youth to take the lead.”

[1] Grade 9-12: Sheri Cooper, Counselor at Science Hill Alternative Center, will be coordinating “Earn-to-Learn”, which employs ] qualified teens at Science Hill to be compensated for their skills development and work in the realm of local foods and agriculture, along with education through guest programming to enhance life skills and career training.

[2] Grade K-8: Shae Keane, Program Leader of Build It Up, will be creating weekly placed-based education for children ages 7-12 in the Mountain Home neighborhood (the Parkway/Dunbar and Carver Johnson City Housing communities), centered around use of the Wilson Avenue Food Forest Park, within walking distance of Carver Recreation Center. The programming will focus on food, health, and nutrition literacy, with emphasis on helping the children learn how to plant, grow, harvest, and cook their own food. Keep up with Shae and the Mountain Home Sowing Seeds program through her blog.

[3] Grade 3-7: Wenny Elrod, Founder of Mountain Empire Literacy Outreach, will provide weekly food, health, and nutrition literacy programming at at Girls Inc. The campus there has raised garden beds and will be expanding their edible landscaping. 

ETSU Medical Library, and Color My World Healthy, through Elaine Evans, is spearheading the creation of Journal Dairies for all youth participants to follow the food and nutrition literacy programming. ETSU Medical Library and ETSU Nutrition will faciliate internship opportunities in the field at the 3 sites.

Paid internships are available for area youth ages 18-24 to help with the programming.  For more information or to apply to work click here.

Stay tuned for more updates as we traveling through this educational journey as we connect kids with their food to help them become active agents of change in the food system.

UPDATE JAN 2017: Picture from the past 5 months.

An Earn2Learn teen takes a biscuit cooking test for certification.

An Earn2Learn teen takes a biscuit cooking test for certification.

We grew a huge turnip at our Food Forest!

We grew a huge turnip!

Weekly nature craft or "wildcrafting", teaching there are no wrong answers when being creative

Weekly nature craft or “wildcrafting”, teaching there are no wrong answers when being creative

Sowing Seeds Flyer update

Flyer for Mountain Home Sowing Seeds Program recruitment in the neighborhood. Sowing Seeds staff went door to door 5+ times to recruit for this new program in the neighborhood.