Backstory: the “growth” of Healthy Roots
Back in 2015, DuBose developed a Master Plan for our buildings and grounds. As part of our vision for programming and services offered, we (with the help of a generous grant from St. George's Nashville) constructed an on-site, "Farm-to-Table organic garden. In the subsequent years, this project has served as a positive learning tool for both visiting guests and local groups.
The Garden space has been utilized extensively for programming outreach with the help of partner organizations. (See one of our favorite videos, featuring the kids of Healthy Horizons, a health education partnership with the county health partners and area schools). Harvest is regularly included in the Center’s dining offerings and leftover produce is provided to area food pantries for distribution. With help from both programming and community partners, the space is used as a teaching tool for workshops and serves as a demonstration space for educators that want to use gardens in a classroom setting.
During this “on-the-ground” work in the past three years, three key understandings have emerged:
1. The success of the garden as an activity space for local and visiting groups demonstrates that it can effectively be used as a tool for education, creativity, and renewal
2. Although the communities of the South Cumberland Plateau are making positive steps in health education, there remains a substantial need in our area for affordable, accessible food and the acceptance of health-related practices. These issues are highly correlated with the rate of poverty and lack of resources our region experiences.
3. Furthermore, although we are geographically located in a particularly challenged county, these issues also affect our state as a whole and the nation's southeast region.
We have the capability to do more.
DuBose is a long-standing community organization with staff, friends, and neighbors who reside here year-round, and we are fortunate to be connected with communities across the region. Working to address this issue feels like more than something that we "can" do... frankly, it feels like something we have the responsibility to do.
The response to this need is Healthy Roots, a significant and distinct expansion of the existing Farm-to-Table project that combines Practice and Giving to promote "whole health" within individuals.