Building Sustainable Families through a Celebration of Low-Impact and Organic Community-Supported Agriculture

Project Overview

Project Type: Sustainable Community Innovation
Funds awarded in 2010: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Region: Southern
State: Tennessee
Principal Investigator:
Ruth Correll
UT Extension, Wilson County

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: oats, rye, sorghum (milo), sunflower, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Fruits: melons, apples, berries (other), berries (brambles), peaches, berries (strawberries)
  • Nuts: pecans, walnuts
  • Vegetables: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucurbits, greens (leafy), peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes
  • Additional Plants: herbs, native plants, ornamentals, trees
  • Animals: bees, poultry, goats


  • Animal Production: free-range, grazing management, manure management, pasture fertility, grazing - rotational, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, networking, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, budgets/cost and returns, community-supported agriculture, cooperatives, marketing management, farm-to-institution, agricultural finance, market study, risk management, value added, agritourism
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, habitat enhancement, soil stabilization, wetlands, wildlife, hedges - woody
  • Pest Management: allelopathy, botanical pesticides, chemical control, competition, cultural control, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, mulches - living, physical control, mulching - plastic, cultivation, precision herbicide use, prevention, row covers (for pests), sanitation, soil solarization, trap crops, traps, mulching - vegetative, weather monitoring
  • Production Systems: holistic management, organic agriculture, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil analysis, nutrient mineralization, soil microbiology, soil chemistry, soil physics, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: community planning, ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, leadership development, local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, partnerships, public policy, urban agriculture, urban/rural integration, analysis of personal/family life, community services, social networks, sustainability measures, community development

    Proposal abstract:

    Building Sustainable Families through a Celebration of Low-Impact and Organic Community-Supported Agriculture is a project designed to stimulate entrepreneurial development in the value-added agricultural sectors in Wilson County, Tennessee. Wilson County is among the fastest growing counties in Tennessee and is currently undergoing significant change. This change has led to an increased interest in homestead gardening, organic and low-impact farming and a greater demand for locally grown products. County Extension Agriculture agents will team with the Family and Consumer Science (FCS) agent to identify and prioritize issues facing producers, business and restaurant owners in addition to consumers. This project will encourage and build sustainable communities where individual families can benefit from economic development. The program will provide skills training and build an ongoing network of producers, business and restaurant owners as well as consumers that will contribute to the building of sustainable low-impact and organic agriculture including sustainable communities throughout Wilson County. The project will facilitate the launch of a sustainable agriculture coalition which will foster the networking of local producers and consumers in combination with small business/restaurant owners. The Coalition will provide educational workshops and tours aimed at promoting sustainable and value-added practices. The Coalition will also assist in the planning, implementation and evaluation of an annual family-centered event. This event will promote sustainable and organic agriculture while educating producers and building community relationships. This project will further the marketing efforts of local low-impact and organic growers and business/restaurant owners through the use of mass media. The development of a website dedicated to this project will aid consumers with purchasing foods from local producers as well as further the relationship between consumer and producers, business and restaurant owners. A quarterly newsletter will be used to showcase the work of the project and help the public understand the importance of building sustainable families through a celebration of low-impact and organic community-supported agriculture. When thinking of sustainability and conscious efforts to preserve the long-term vitality of our community, the future members of the agriculture sector come to mind. This project will also meet the demands and interests that youth have about low-impact and organic gardening. A youth-related sustainable agriculture project group this project will foster long-term health and engagement of future members in the agriculture community. The project will be overseen by the local Cooperative Extension program and a coalition of partners representing a wide range of stakeholders from the county, including producers, business and restaurant owners, higher education, government, and the nonprofit sectors. This coalition will provide both an additional arena for county cooperation and an avenue through which the activities developed in the project can be carried out.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Form a Wilson County Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to help motivate producers and business/restaurant owners to learn more about sustainable agriculture and its benefits to their operations as well as establish a relationship with families and consumers.
    2. Provide educational workshops, short courses and tours to further promote sustainable and low-impact practices.
    3. Create a youth-related sustainable agriculture project group that will sustain this project by providing educational opportunities to increase knowledge of sustainable practices and stimulate enthusiasm for community development.
    4. To build sustainable families through low-impact community supported agriculture by hosting an annual event. The Gathering: A Celebration of Sustainable Community-Supported Agriculture, will help families connect with producers and business/restaurant owners.
    5. To create a Wilson County Producer Map that is accessible for consumers. This map will highlight the producers in Wilson County who are participating in sustainable, community-based low-impact agriculture.
    6. Further the marketing efforts of local low-impact and organic growers, business and restaurant owners through the use of mass media, including a website for this project.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.