Hi Ya, Rachel Slaughter here – Build It Up’s new Program Assistant.  I thought I’d introduce myself since there is a good chance you may be getting an email from me before we get a chance to meet in person. 

 One of my earliest memories is the year my brother planted a secret garden for me behind a bush in our backyard for my birthday. It was short lived, as many of the plants couldn’t live in the small full shade spot but it was one of the best and most magical gifts I’ve ever been given. My brother knew I would love it as I maintained a plant journal as a child, pressing flowers, collecting their seeds, and copying down information from my parents gardening books about each flower I collected. By the time I was in high school I had my own plot in the backyard for growing vegetables and left for college with the dream of becoming a farmer.

Over the years my love of plants has morphed but my passion for growing things and enjoying the beauty of nature has endured. Most recently my partner and I have been farming on a small urban lot in Johnson City. We grow a small, diversified no-till vegetable and cut flower garden to sell through our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), farmer’s market stand and local restaurants. Our farm – Rain Crow Farm – currently grows on roughly 1/3 of an acre and is a culmination of years of farming and gardening across a number of different states.

I love talking shop with home gardeners and farmers alike and am very much looking forward to getting to know each of you all over the course of the growing season!