CHURCH HILL — The Church Hill Senior Center Garden is starting its second decade of growth!

The first task each spring is to unload the compost bins into the raised beds to get them ready for planting. Once again, the gardeners were fortunate to have the help of the Volunteer High School FFA members and some Personal Finance students, along with their advisor, Logan Burleson, to assist them with this important task.

The generations working together completed the work in one short afternoon and the garden will soon be sowed with early spring crops.

Since its inception in 2010, the garden has produced more than 32,000 pounds of vegetables, small fruits and herbs. All of the produce is donated back to the community, including the senior center lunch program and the food pantry run by Of One Accord ministry.

To keep this vital community program going, the garden is actively seeking more people to help with weekly maintenance throughout the growing season. If you love to garden or would like to learn more about raised bed gardening and growing an amazing amount of vegetables in a small space, please join the crew. Contact the garden at chscgarden@yahoo.com or call the senior center, 423-357-5387, and leave your contact information. Students may use their time at the garden toward their TN Promise hours and furthering their education.

The Volunteer FFA students are also busy at this time of year preparing for their spring greenhouse sale. In mid-April, they will have a large array of hanging baskets, ferns, small potted flowers and also a few vegetable seedlings for sale. You can pre-order by calling the school at 423-357-3641, or you can select your own during the sale days in April. Please support the youth of the community and enjoy the results of their growing skills in your own home and garden.

(PUB. NOTE: Marcia’s article was written just prior to Hawkins Co. Schools being closed through at least the end of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Readers should check with members of the Volunteer FFA to determine if the spring plant sale will take place as scheduled. — Tommy)