Many local businesses are struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis, and lots of folks are feeling anxious about food security.
Wild Abundance, a Barnardsville-based school in North Carolina that teaches hands-on skills for sustainable living, is responding to these pressures with a creative act of adaptation and generosity. They’ve developed a video-based gardening program in order to continue teaching, even as students are unable to attend in-person classes. This move is in response to overwhelming interest in growing food, and a desire to support new gardeners in reaping successful harvests.
The Wild Abundance Online Gardening School includes 12 classes on the basics of gardening, plus monthly lessons that cover seasonal garden veggies, infrastructure, edible weeds, food preservation, recipes, pest management, and more. Each month, students have the opportunity to ask questions and get mentorship through live calls with the primary instructors, Natalie Bogwalker and Chloe Lieberman.
“Wild Abundance is an incredible resource for new and experienced gardeners alike,” says Lisa Isenhart, a nonprofit program director from Weaverville, NC. “I learned all the essentials for creating, maintaining, and enjoying a productive garden. The teachers drew upon organic and permaculture methods to teach us how to grow our own food in smart, earth-friendly ways. I immediately used what I learned to transform part of our yard from grass to an amazing household vegetable garden that keeps giving to our family year after year. Learning from Natalie was a true gift.”
The Online Gardening School is being offered on a sliding-scale, meaning that you can choose what you pay given your means. This tuition policy makes the class more accessible in light of the economic strain that so many people are feeling right now. A portion of tuition proceeds will be donated to food security organization Bounty & Soul, which will be matched by a matching grant.
In an effort to root this knowledge within the local community, Wild Abundance is also offering the program free of charge to any Barnardsville residents who want to learn. Like a garden planted in a vacant lot or on a degraded hillside, this class is a way to transform difficulty into bounty for all.
If you’re yearning to plant the seeds of food security and harvest the bounty of homegrown nourishment, then check out wildabundance.net/classes/online-gardening-school/ for more information and to register.