We are a military family who retired from a duty station in upstate NY. It took us a couple of years to
research our forever home leading to us moving to eastern Tennessee. Once we got here, we noticed
immediately there were some stark differences between what we were used to gardening in, and our
land here. We planted a large garden last year, but partly because of too many trees casting shade, and
the clay soil, it was rather unsuccessful. Through the course of the past year, my husband dropped a ton
of trees to open up the area in front of the house where the garden is and we worked on remediating
the soil.

After getting involved with the ARCD, I found out about and applied for the Build It Up program. We
couldn’t be more excited to learn and hopefully be successful in our gardening. Prior to being selected I
had already started some plants from seeds, they’re coming along already. I’m hopeful between what I
started and the plants from build it up, and we have enough to can and preserve to help off set the need
to visit the grocery store.

I’m hoping through the Build It Up Program, that we can be involved as a family, reinforcing the value of
hard work to our 4 and 2 year olds. Lucas, the 4 year old, is already pretty active in helping with
gardening. He would help harvest before we moved here, and also looks forward to checking on our
seed bins whenever we’re outside. He has also requested we grow carrots, which weren’t on my original
list, because they are a favorite of him and his sister.

I’m also looking forward to my husband building two raised garden beds in the front of our house. I
wasn’t going to grow lettuce this year, but I’m hoping to grow “a salad bed” in one of the raised beds
with lettuce and carrots.

I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to participate in Build It Up, I’m looking forward to seeing
what this growing season has in store for us!