REAP Program Has Come to Blount County

2017 "Hands in the DIrt" Class for Growing Vegetablesby R. Lieber

Early in the spring of 2017 the Blount County Master Gardeners released a vegetable based "Garden in a Box" as the first in a planned series of gardens grown from seed under the REAP program. REAP stands for Realizing Economical Agricultural Potential and was originally developed through the efforts of the Cumberland County Master Gardeners and the Plateau Discovery Gardens.

The kit contains 21 different varieties of vegetable seeds and planting instructions with diagrams for three seasons of harvest. The box garden plans can be used by any gardener wishing to easily add a planned home grown garden but is especially helpful to novice gardeners.

Gardening to grow food can bring a great deal of pleasure to new gardeners, whether 5 or 95. It also can save a great deal of money since these small boxes can produce as much as $100 worth of food over a year of gardening.

As more people have been picking up their gardens in a box at various sponsoring outlets around Maryville, the demand for more help in starting a garden has grown, too. If you are among the many discouraged gardeners that have not had much success in growing from seed, or have always felt lost before you started, the box - and now a workshop - could lead to gardening success at last. For any gardener wishing to grow a REAP garden, BCMG will be hosting a free "Hands in the Dirt" workshop. There will be a demonstration on how to create a basic 4 foot by 4 foot garden bed, prepare it for planting, and how to sow seeds for a fall planting, plus a host of other helpful hints that lead to a successful garden.

The Hands in the Dirt workshop will be held twice to accommodate as many people as possible. The sessions will be held at the Blount County Extension Service Office at 219 Court Street. The first session will be held on Saturday August 12th from 9 to 10:30 AM. This will be repeated on Thursday August 17th from 6 to 7:30 PM. Space will be limited, so registration in advance is requested. You can register by leaving your name, telephone number, and date attending via email at or phone the Extension Office at 865-982-6430 to leave your information. The BCMG REAP committee will make every effort to get back to you within 24 hours.

If you haven't had a chance to pick up a REAP box there will be boxes available for a $10 donation at each workshop.

The workshop is an outdoor hands-on demonstration, and the Master Gardeners recommend that you wear comfortable clothing, bring garden gloves, and plenty of water to drink. There will be enough space for folding chairs if you wish to sit.


The above article was published in The Daily Times newspaper on August 7, 2017.  Click here for a link to the article.

Blount County Extension Master Gardeners


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