But not only that; Sam is dedicated to educating people about real, nourishing food. “Showing them that this food is good, it’s from here, it’s free, and hopefully when they leave Hospitality House they can go and have their own garden and enjoy it,” he explained. “I hope some of the residents take away that gardening or farming is a serious lifestyle for some of the community here in Boone, and they understand that and maybe take something away from that that’s bigger than themselves.”
"This garden is supported by many hands, and I think that's the big point."
He’s doing a fantastic job so far. Since its inception about 2 ½ years ago, the garden program has evolved into an upper garden area with donated, wheelchair-accessible raised beds and a lower garden with two hoop houses, 10 raised beds, fruit trees and composting. All kinds of produce are grown organically and with care by residents, staff and community volunteers. Anyone is welcome to help out, and many of the residents are excited about it. Those who help out can get tokens to buy meals at F.A.R.M. Café or produce at the Watauga Farmers’ Market. The goal for this year is to use a grant to purchase a large walk-in cooler to store the food. “People that need food can come in and make a food box and have fresh food whenever they need it,” Sam said. The leftovers will go to the Hospitality House kitchen. “So all the residents can really see what they’ve grown, and they can eat it and see what it tastes like. So it’s definitely full circle.”
While not your “traditional” farm, Sam is excited that Hospitality House is highlighted in the High Country Farm Tour. “I think it’s important for people to come to a small space and see that if you have a 12x12 space you can make enough food for a small family,” he said. “I think it’s cool when people come and are like wow, this community of residents and people in Boone just want to help out, they’re supporting this and caring about this…This garden is supported by many hands, and I think that’s the big point.”
For more information about the Hospitality House: http://www.hospitalityhouseofboone.org/