Thanks for another great year and No December Meeting,

We have decided to cancel the December meeting and Christmas Party since we were able to have a wonderful meeting and party in October.

We are very thankful that, with your help and support, we were able to accomplish a lot in 2021.

14 Permaculture group members donated 415 hours and installed a new sign for the entrance to the garden, constructed a set of raised beds for the cross garden at the garden entrance, installed two wooden benches for visitors, added a deer fence around our new annual crop garden with bamboo posts that we harvested from Scottie Pritchard’s property, and planted a new garden for Janet Braithwaite, the winner of last year’s silent auction, and donated sweet potatoes to Food Independence and tomatoes to God’s Storehouse, as well as other activities.

The Free Market operated safely when possible, shut down three times when local cases surged. As a result, they focused on targeted services to agency clients needing household goods and loaned medical equipment by appointment and opened two hours a week to receive and process donations. They received a COVID grant from the County, purchased an air scrubber and improved air quality and ventilation. The Gift Shop will be held December 4th and will re-open for regular hours beginning December 2nd.

The highlight for the Farmers Market was the construction Timber Frame pavilion in Town Park by 60 members of Timber Framers Guild which required Chef Jen Cavey and an army of volunteers to feed them 3 awesome meals a day for 10 days. The Online Market thrived and provided touchless, curbside pickup during the pandemic and continued to set sales records and the Market opened on schedule the 2nd Friday in May with 9 new regular vendors.

Food Independence provided an average of 189 boxes to 171 households totaling 373 people per month with an increase expected for the holidays. They are now sourcing food from Feeding Southwest Virginia, local supermarkets and meat suppliers and local/regional produce sources. 50+ volunteers deliver/pickup, store, pack and distribute each month. Senator Tim Kaine visited the pantry in April, and they were also awarded a state Community Development Block Grant for $135,000 through the Town of Independence to purchase supplies, equipment and food.

Independence Elementary School Garden became a reality with the construction of 5 raised beds, deer fencing, a decorative picket fence and screen door. Beds were planted in spring 2020 with 4th graders and kids harvested about 20 pounds of potatoes and 8 pumpkins, also lettuce, tomatoes and flowers this fall. The program received a $500 GroMoreGood garden grant to supplement GLC funding and a Twin County Community Foundation grant to purchase a Tower Garden for indoor growing.

Grayson LandFair switched to a Video Challenge and 13 student teams representing 35 students created videos offering solutions to local problems. 500+ people voted for the Peoples choice winner on the GLC YouTube channel.
Prizes were awarded at Grayson and Galax school award ceremonies for increased exposure.

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