Looking Back and Moving Forward

As 2023 draws to a close and we look back on the year, we are proud of the positive impact Grayson LandCare and our core projects have made in Grayson County. If you haven’t read our annual report, you can find it here.

Traditionally, Grayson LandCare has only had one fundraising event each year. This event has been our annual potluck and auction. While we saw a lot of new faces and we enjoyed socializing at the event, we fell short of our fundraising goal by over $2,000. We are actively looking at some changes for next year, to continue to make this event a success for our organization. But in the interim we would appreciate you considering a year-end donation to Grayson LandCare.

By providing a donation directly to GLC you allow us to continue to support many of our great projects including the Elementary School Garden, the Permaculture Garden, The Independence Farmers Market, the Free Market, and Food Independence. All of these incredibly projects support our community and have a positive impact in our community.

The School Garden became a regular feature of the 5th grade this fall semester after serving the after-school program for 2 years. Susan Mitchell volunteered her expertise as a teacher and administrator to ensure the classes supported the necessary standards of learning (SOLs) and were a benefit, not an extra burden, to the teachers. We will work with the 4th grade this spring ensuring that they have the opportunity to harvest the plants they start and nurture next year as 5th graders. The goals of the garden project are to present core scientific principals using hands on learning while teaching the kids basic gardening skills, letting them enjoy the rewards of their own labor in the form of tasty fresh vegetables and give them another reason to go outside. Combining the 4th and 5th grade in this way shows them the continuity of the growing season and allows us to share the garden with more kids.

The Permaculture garden located at the Church of the Good Shepherd is a living laboratory, class room and food forest. Cynthia and Rick Taylor and a core group of volunteers have transformed a piece of pasture/ lawn into a productive ecosystem that nurtures a wide range of plant and animal species. Permaculture offers proven practices we can implement in our own outdoor spaces, regardless of size, to help promote a healthier environment. In 2024, the Permaculture group, with support from GLC, will offer several workshops to share that knowledge with a wider audience. The schedule will be announced soon and I hope you’ll plan to attend.

The Independence Farmers Market has provided hundreds of small businesses, run by entrepreneurs of all ages, a place to sell their products. Classes from the high school, homeschoolers, and other kids have been able to sell at the Market free of charge and hone their business skills. The Farmers Market is the lowest cost business incubator available and provides immediate feedback on the desirability of products offered. Classes offered by the Market teach basic and advanced gardening principles as well cooking skills. The IFM has appreciated continued community support while in the temporary location on Courthouse Street and look forward seeing a return to more robust sales whenever a return to Town Park becomes possible.

The Free Market’s article in this edition of the newsletter highlight the many values of the Free Market to our community. In addition, the medical lending library, and the outreach area available to clients in need continue to reach a wider part of the community.

Lastly, Food Independence’s article highlights the ongoing support needed for all of our projects by our members and community.

Thank you all for your continued and unwavering support to ensure the success of all of Grayson LandCare projects. Your financial donations in addition to your time commitments to ensure the success of our projects and the collective positive impact are truly appreciated by the organization and the Board of Directors.

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