We received a the Virginia-Higgens grant in June of 2018 for $3,164.00 and a Try This grant in October for $500. Using these grants we purchased 2,400 seeds and mulch to host a planting and tea education workshop at the SAFE domestic violence shelter in Welch, West Virginia.
These grants also allowed us to purchase a hoop house for our farm and provide occupational therapy sessions to the women at SAFE which are led by our founder, Rachael Porter. Rachael helps her clients develop numerous life skills including stress management, time management, self-care to support abstinence, and social skills for sobriety.
During the first portion of the workshop, the women learned a lesson on tea from our Board Secretary, Candice Maxwell. We covered the origins, uses, and benefits of drinking tea. They learned the difference between tea and tisane and were able to try a few different kinds like black tea from Eygypt and a blood orange smoothie flavored tisane blend.
After trying some tea with their provided healthy snack of oranges and apples, the women got to learn hands-on how to plant tea seeds! Below is Rachael mixing the mulch and fertilizer.
First, they mixed together their soil. Then they broke into small groups and filled trays. Each group was given a certain number and a type of seed. They planted the seeds in their trays and then marked them with popsicle sticks. We all got a little dirty and had a lot of fun!