Build It Up

Grow With Us


Build It Up provides organic gardening education from seed to harvest. Learn how to grow, prepare, and preserve food from your own backyard!


Apply for the 2024 Program

Our Programs

Since 2012, Build It Up has offered gardening education and installed over 200 new gardens in East Tennessee. We offer support to backyard gardeners, market gardeners, and school and community gardens.

Learn more about each service by clicking the links below.

Backyard Gardeners Program

We guide 30-40 families through a year of organic gardening education and support. Families receive plants, seeds, tools, fertilizer, and more to help grow healthy, fresh food right in their own backyards.

Market Gardeners Program

We foster entrepreneurship through agriculture and support market gardeners up to a half-acre in size. 


Stay Connected through our YouTube Channel!

We post our workshops, informational videos and more to our YouTube channel. Check it out to learn more about some of the ways we choose to garden, equipment we prefer, and tips and tricks along the way!

Over 200 Families Served

Wish your kids knew where their food comes from? Gardening provides so many opportunities for kids (and adults!) to learn about food, nature, and the joy of dirt under your fingernails. Learn more about our Backyard Gardening Program:

Grow Organically

We teach how to grow organically and in harmony with our ecosystem. Our workshops focus on gardening in ways that prevent and disease issues naturally without relying on chemical fertilizers or sprays.

Pounds of Food Grown




"I truly believe that growing your own food is an activity that makes us more human. Working the land and facilitating the growth process connects us with nature in a way that is deep, elemental, and soulful."


– Matthew M., 2nd Year Gardener

"Last year I grew my first-ever lush year-round garden, and whilst I did experience a few frustrating moments, overall it was one of the biggest and best accomplishments of my life."


– Louise B., 2nd Year Gardener

"The knowledge that I have gained from Build It Up... has allowed us more success in the last two years than I had imagined possible."


– Emily P., 2nd Year Gardener

"In consideration of all the times in my life that something has been too good to be true: Build It Up somehow exceeded all of my expectations."


– Jenna U., 1st Year Gardener

Latest from the blog:

We feature stories from our Build It Up participants as well as guides for when to be doing what in your garden like succession planting recommendations, seed starting, and more.

Gardener Story: Crystal Stahl

Gardener Story: Crystal Stahl

Another summer has come to an end, it is always sad to see it go but there really is something inviting about the crisp fall air and the change of the seasons. This has completed my second year in the BIU Garden Program and I am so thankful to have been a part of it!...

Gardener Story: Dezta Family

Gardener Story: Dezta Family

This is our second year gardening as a family. The kids planted the flowers we grew this year - sunflowers, four o clocks, marigolds, nasturtiums, cosmos and amaranth - that we have gifted to friends and neighbors. It also made for a great pollinator garden and we...

Gardener Story: Earlene and John

Gardener Story: Earlene and John

As second year members of the Build It Up program, we have continued to grow our garden and our knowledge. The first year, we had to overcome starting out a garden, learning how to grow food and when to cultivate it. We weren’t always successful, but we learned a lot...

Special Thanks

Build It Up is one of many Grow Appalachia partner sites. Click below to learn more about Grow Appalachia and our sister programs.

Become a Gardener or Donate Today!