Grayson LandCare added 3 member-driven projects this year, despite the pandemic:
Food Independence, a much-needed food pantry located in Independence,
a new Seed saving group that will partner with the Wythe-Grayson Regional Library,
and a new School gardening initiative
The Annual meeting was held via Zoom and the Auction ran from October 16-November 1st. Thanks very much for supporting Grayson LandCare by shopping and donating auction items. We are leaving the auction site open for donations to Food Independence and other projects and also as an easy link to renew your membership. Here’s the link: https://graysonlandcare.org/2020-silentauction/
The 2020 LandCare LandFair proceeded with a limited format. 28 students entered the competition this year. The top 3 contestants were: Clare Huff- first place with A+ Compost, Jessie Worrell- 2nd with Organic Christmas trees, and the team effort by Haley Baker and Kayla Archer in third place with Safe Cat litter disposal. Prize money and t-shirts were distributed.
Bug Contest had over 100 entries. You can find all the pictures on the webpage. This was to be a part of the photography contest at the Grayson County Fair.
Zoom monthly meetings were a challenge and not well attended.
School garden initiative Permission has been granted to start a new School garden at Independence Elementary School. Michelle will begin offering short gardening zoom classes Monday afternoons beginning in November. The board saw interacting with the schools to increase awareness about agriculture as a primary goal for 2020.
– After months of closure, we tried some “dock days” and then figured out how to open the shop safely, with COVID precautions.
-Open Thursdays and Fridays 1-5 and in September we averaged 54 visitors per shift.
-May add some Saturday hours to accommodate those who work.
-The Manager position is still open; contact Kathy if you would like to apply.
The Pandemic presented a challenge for the group from a social aspect. We did no dinners @ members’ houses. The group did have our monthly work trips and the following items were accomplished :
– The water tank for annual crop watering was installed and will be put into use in 2021.
– A bean teepee was constructed and planted.
– Cardboard collection & sheet mulching for our phase 2 projects was started
– An irrigation system from the upper roof of COGS to the lower swale was constructed & put into use.
– Regular maintenance which included mowing, pruning & lots of weeding.
– Design work for bridge, spiral garden & cross garden was done & will be implemented in 2021.
-Volunteers donated 500 hours.
Independence Farmers Market:
The IFM remained Online for the entire 2020 season. The Online Market was expanded to 2-6pm and moved to Fridays. Safety protocols were established and implemented and a virtually touchless system with curbside pickup was created
-Hired 2 additional temporary staff to handle the extra hours
-Averaged about 50 customers and approximately $2,700 per week during the peak Market season.
-For comparison: Outdoors in 2019 we averaged 200 customers and $3,500, Online sales in 2019 averaged 20 customers and approximately $500
-Held a virtual Monster Tomato weigh-in, won by Donna Cole and Veggie creature contest-won by Heidi Breedlove.
-Fundraising has been limited to Online Market donations and raffles. YES we are selling Christmas trees! Available now Online.
-Plans are to hold our Winter Markets from noon-3pm on November 27 (Green Friday) and Saturday December 5. This will depend on Covid cases remaining steady
–Started by Anita and Tom Simpson, Bev Fermor and Ken Kruzer. Received GLC sponsorship early July
-First distribution July 27, 100 boxes
-September distribution, 132 boxes
-Anticipating even greater need in the coming months
-Please check out the auction items supporting the pantry
-Volunteers welcome-please contact Anita
Seed Saving/ Seed Library group
-Started by Loren Webster
-Partnering with Wythe-Grayson Library-the distribution end will be there. GLC will manage the storage and assigning growers to keep lines true and increase stock. Both will host classes and activities
-2 meetings so far and the beginnings of our seed stock
-We need a name! It was Seeds for Independence but we want to be sure to include all of Grayson County and our surrounding neighbors too.