What You Need to Know

What You Need to Know: Professional tips about reducing energy and saving a dollar

Written by Taria Person

Posted by Treasure Hightower


Welcome to SEEED’s Weekly Voice! We thank you for reading our blog and checking out the progress of Knoxville, TN’s young adults. Please take a moment to like, leave a comment and share this blog post.


On November 30th, 2017 the trainees of SEEED’s Energy Corps Program—a job training placement program that teaches life skills and provides paid training with contractors in energy trades, such as HVAC, Weatherization, solar installation, and construction—graduated and received their Retrofit Installation Technician certifications. During the night of celebration, there was entertainment, food, and a testimonial video, which allowed the community to witness the graduate’s hard work, as well as the interactions they have had with prominent figures within the city.


Please join SEEED in congratulating each of these young adults on their recent accomplishments and future endeavors!  


After graduation I had the chance to speak with Dewayne Mitchell, Energy Corps Graduate and RIT, to hear about his SEEED journey, to get his views regarding the reduction of energy, and to get insight about weatherizing homes in order to save money. Here’s what he had to say!


(Interview with Taria Person and Dwayne Mitchell)

ME: What is your SEEED journey? What brought you to SEEED?


DWAYNE: Before SEEED, my mindset was all about the streets. I only focused on my street life. I’ll say my mindset changed about a month before I got into SEEED’s program, when I tried to get serious about the skills I already had.


ME: What are a few of the skills you already had prior to joining the program?


DWAYNE: Construction and for years I worked with tools. I’m good with my hands all around. Painting, installing and fixing car stereos, and remodeling houses.


ME: How long have you been practicing these skills?


DWAYNE: About 3 years.


ME: Wow! You were already an expert.


DWAYNE: Yes. But once I got serious about my skills and decided to leave the streets, I found a flyer with SEEED’s info, and info about the program on it. Actually, my uncle brought it to my house, so I called the number and it went from there. And I guess, after graduation my main goal has just been to help people, stay out of the street life, and use my skills.


ME: That’s wonderful! I wish you well on that path.


DWAYNE: Thanks!


ME: My next question for you is: What was the most compelling and valuable aspect of the Energy Corps Program?


DWAYNE: The people we met and the connections with important people in the community.


ME: What did you learn that you can apply to your home now and/or in the future?


DWAYNE: To cut things off before you leave the house, replace light bulbs for more efficient ones, use power strips, because as you are leaving you can cut everything off at once.


ME: What advice could you give the community about weatherizing their homes?


DWAYNE: If you are able to get your house weatherized, do it. It’s usually the smallest things, and the things that you’re not looking at, that are important in the process of reducing waste.


ME: Here is my last question. In your opinion, what is the number one skill, young adults need, in order to succeed?


DWAYNE: I would say to keep pushing and don’t give up. You will succeed as long as you don’t give up.  To succeed, I think you need a mentor. Young adults need a person to look up to, someone who has connections so others can help, also.


Thank you Dwayne for this amazing interview! SEEED Community, let’s continue to figure out and implement small practices, which can help us reduce energy, waste, and save money. Until next time…keep growing!



For more blogs, information and/or updates about what SEEED is doing next, visit our FB page: @seeedknox and our website: seeedknox.com.

Creating Pathways out of Poverty: Expert Perspective on Success

Written by Taria Person
Posted by Treasure Hightower


Welcome to SEEED’s Weekly Voice! Thank you for reading this blog. If you enjoy reading this post, like, leave a comment, and share.


I became affiliated with SEEED via its Career Readiness Program last year, so every chance that I get, I try to ask a student about their experience. Personally knowing about the impact that SEEED plays on young adults, who are creating pathways out of poverty for themselves, I was interested in hearing what Jamond Stacy had to say.


(Interview w/Jamond Stacy)

1)  What brought you to SEEED’s Energy Corps program?

I was looking for a job! I was talking to my neighbor about different options, and SEEED came up. My neighbor said that they were getting young adults certified, in like construction, and sending them out with contractors. So I went to check it out.


2) Can you express your experience of the Energy Corps Program?

It has been a great experience! People come in to teach math, to prepare us for tests and work in the field. I’ve also learned that a successful life is about making and keeping connections. Before, I joined the program, I never thought about going to an advisor, or about sustaining myself with financial goals that I had set. Yeah, my experience has been the many benefits coming out of this program.


3) SEEED’s mission is to “create pathways out of poverty for young adults through career readiness training, while equipping communities with environmental literacy skills.” How has the nonprofit’s mission statement influenced your life?

The part of the mission statement that sticks out to me is, “creating pathways out of poverty for young adults.” I have a lot of friends in poverty. I’m in poverty too, but if I follow through with what SEEED had said, I can be out of poverty one day soon. I’ve already started telling my friends about weatherizing houses, saving energy, and the importance of us all doing so.


4) In your opinion, what is the most important skill that a young adult needs, in order to be successful?

Perseverance. Life can get hard, and may even take a mental toll, but the key to success, is to fight through. Some days you might not want to get up for work (or whatever), but you got to fight through. Keep a positive attitude about yourself, and positivity will come to you.


This is SEEED’s Weekly Voice. Until next time, keep growing!

What’s Happening?

Graduation for Energy Corps

Interview w/ Energy Corps Trainee | Jordan Littlejohn

SEEED KNOX: Interview w/ Energy Corps Trainee | Jordan LittleJohn.
Written by Taria Person 
Posted by Treasure Hightower 

Thank you for visiting SEEED’s Weekly Voice, and checking out the progress of Knoxville’s young adults! Please check out our website (seeedknox.com) and our FB page for updates on future/previous blog posts.

Last week I had the privilege of speaking with Jordan Littlejohn, which is a trainee–who has made it to the second round–within the Energy Corps Program. We talked about his plans and aspirations, and the influence and importance of community engagement. Here is what he expressed, regarding his experience at SEEED. Enjoy!

(Interview w/Jordan Littlejohn and Taria Person)

Person: Hey! My name is Taria Person. I’m the community engagement specialist and blogger, here at SEEED. Nice to meet you.

Littlejohn: Hey, I’m Jordan Littlejohn. Nice to meet you, too.

Person: So Jordan, tell me your SEEED story. How were you informed about the nonprofit, and the Energy Corp Program?

Littlejohn: I ride my skateboard by SEEED all the time. I had no clue what it was all about, but I saw a flyer as I was riding by one day, and I was interested.

Person: What are your plans and aspirations while you are in the program? What do you plan on getting out of this program?

Littlejohn: I plan to get my certificate, first. It will be good to work with a personal contractor in a new line of work, also. I came here to advance because I got tired of working, but not making improvements because of where I was at.

Person: Okay. What are the three most compelling lessons, you’ve received from the Energy Corps Program?

Littlejohn: Debra Porter, Davett Jones, and the hands on & community training we’ve been doing. Debra Porter talked about bank accounts, and the importance of knowing where your money is going. Davett Jones taught us, “Who Taught You To Be Broke?” I will never forget her. She taught us some real money saving tips. The hands on stuff, I love that approach because that’s where I learn the most. Being able to go out into the community…to really be productive, that’s where I learn. I’m not just sitting in the classroom, so it’s more of a learning experience for me.

Person: Is SEEED a program that you believe can be beneficial to young adults?

Littlejohn: Most definitely. I’m benefiting. Ever since I started, it’s been something positive everyday. It’s like a spirit. It’s a good spirit going on. I feel like any young adult can come to this program and feel the same way I feel about it. There’s nothing but good vibes about this place. I remember a time Ms. Mandy got emotional when talking to us; she got serious. She let us know how serious she is about us. It shows, that it’s not just people here helping you. They show love. They have emotions, and the work means something to them all. At that point I was like, ‘Okay. SEEED is a place where I want to be connected.’

Person: Thank you for that response. Here is my last question. What do you believe everyone young person needs in order to succeed?

Littlejohn: Motivation. If you don’t keep yourself motivated, you’ll fall down. I’ve been there before. That’s what I do now. You keep yourself motivated, you aren’t ever going to fail or lose.

Person: I definitely appreciate this interview, and it was such a pleasure speaking with you.

Littlejohn: Hey! Thank you for coming to me and including me. I appreciate it.

Please join me in congratulating Jordan Littlejohn on his development and accomplishments! Don’t forget to like, comment, and share this blog post. Thank you so much for reading SEEED’s Weekly Voice. Until next time, keep growing!

SEEED Energy Corps: Interview w/ Christopher Cosley

Written by Taria Person
Posted by Treasure Hightower

Welcome to SEEED’s Weekly Voice! This week we are highlighting a few influential moments, from one of SEEED’s Energy Corps trainees, Christopher Cosley. I had a chance to speak with him after he attended “The Grow your Garden Series,” Wednesday, September 20th, hosted by Amanda Spangler, from The Center for Urban Agriculture. The event was a “Fall Edibles” workshop, which covered the process of propagating herbs from cuttings and saving seeds.

SEEED’s mission is to “create pathways out of poverty for young adults through career readiness training, while equipping communities with environmental literacy skills.” Let’s see what Christopher expressed with us, in regards to the impact that SEEED has on young adults, and on the community of Knoxville.


[Interview with Christopher Cosley]

Taria: Hi Christopher.

Christopher: Hi Ma’am.

Taria: I’m glad that I’m finally able to speak with you.

Christopher: Most certainly. I’m glad, as well.

Taria: So Christopher, tell me about yourself. How old are you, and where are you from?

Christopher: I’m 19, and originally from Birmingham, AL.

Taria: Okay. So Christopher, what brought you to SEEED? What made you apply for the Energy Corps Program?

Christopher: Um…my want to better myself, to broaden horizons, and to obtain my goal. I didn’t know what the goal would be, but I knew SEEED would assist in me achieving it. I knew what direction—something in Business. Something where I could give back, and that would allow me to give back in a very impactful way. With SEEED, I feel like I can do that.

Taria: Wow. Thank you for sharing that statement.

Christopher: Most certainly.


Taria: In these three weeks, what have you learned from the Energy Corps Program?

Christopher: I’ve learned that, it doesn’t matter where you come from or what the circumstances are, you can achieve your goals. I’ve learned the true value of applied knowledge, not personally, but I have acquired knowledge through others, and from all that I have, which will help me with things in the future. For instance, basic self-defense. I definitely don’t want to be involved in any altercations, but a simple duck and cover, to avoid totally getting beaten up, could give me time to get away and get help. (We actually learned that at SEEED, by the way).

Taria: Nice. Sounds like you all have had some fun, and learned some essential skills in the program.

Christopher: Definitely.

Taria: And you attended, “The Grow your Garden Series” event.

Christopher: Yes.


Taria: Could you highlight some of your experience at the workshop?

Christopher: I would love to. It was pretty cool learning, exactly how to save seeds. I know the importance of learning these agriculture tips. It is a way more productive course of action than going to the store.

Taria: Absolutely.  

Christopher: You can save money. It’s good for our environment, and it’s extremely economical. I’ve already started growing two little strawberry plants, a thyme plant, a rosemary plant, a lavender plant, and a lemon balm plant.

Taria: Wow! Did you obtain these plants before or after attending the event?  

Christopher: All after the event.

Taria: That is phenomenal. Do you think that events and programs (that SEEED offers) are beneficial to the community and young adults?

Christopher: Most definitely. It’s, honestly, putting yourself out there, and taking the information. You can sit there or you could listen. It helps you in the long run, today…right now. SEEED is super beneficial.

Taria: My final question for you. What is one thing that any young adult needs, in order to be successful?

Christopher: First you need desire. Once you have that desire, you have to be determined. I actually say, you have to have three things. First, you need desire. Second, you need to be determined. Third, you need God. You need some form of religion or practice, which keeps you leveled and keeps you in the right direction.

Taria: Thank you so much Christopher. It was a pleasure speaking with you today.

Christopher: Yes. Thank you.


Please join SEEED in congratulating Christopher Cosley in his endeavors, during the Energy Corps Program! Thank you so much for checking out SEEED’s Weekly Voice, and don’t forget to like, share, and leave us a comment. Until next time, keep growing!


SEEED: Building a Foundation for Success

Have you ever scanned the interior compartments of a fully stocked toolbox, and wondered if a task was achievable with a lesser amount of supplies? Maybe…maybe not? Aware that everyone’s leisure time does not consist of hammers and screwdrivers, let’s focus on the “a lesser amount of supplies” part. For instance, you have a project, let’s say it’s project, “building a box.” 



Sure, we know nothing is impossible. We know that an ordinary-old-box can be built with a handsaw, a hammer, and a few screws from the dollar store. However, the question is how could we make the box more durable and the process more efficient? I’ve asked four employees at SEEED (including myself) for opinions, regarding tools that young adults need in order to succeed. Here is what was shared:


Mandy Proffitt, Program Director

Mandy Proffitt says, “Every young adult needs attitude. According to Henry Ford, ‘Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.’ If you think you’re headed in the right direction, you’re most likely right.”


Kesha Williams, Program Coordinator

Kesha Williams says, “One thing any young adult needs is professionalism (across the board). Appearance, attitude, performance, showing up and being punctual. Professionalism and success work together.”


Treasure Hightower, Marketing Director

Treasure Hightower says, “I think every young adult needs support, in order to succeed. Young adults need people in their corner to give encouragement, and help with developing skills.”


Taria Person, Community Outreach Coordinator/Blogger

Taria Person says, “I believe that a young adult with a vision and a plan, has the potential to go a long way. When you’re prepared, it’s easier to set action to aspirations and to obtain the goal.”



Let’s congratulate our SEEED trainees for approaching their third week in the Energy Corps Program! Currently, they are exploring Life Skills and Job Acquisition Skills courses, and will be evaluated as a potential candidate for paid training and job placement, with a contractor in the building or energy trades. 

Until next time, think about the skills you can put in your toolbox, and keep growing!

SEEED: Save Energy and Money Weatherizing your Home!

Written by Taria Person
Posted by Treasure Hightower

Welcome to SEEED’s Weekly Voice!

Is your home weatherized for the soon-approaching autumn nights, or windy, winter days? …After imagining that I could hear many “yes” and “no” responses juggle throughout the air, I believe that it’s important to share a few DIY projects with you all. If you already possess a weatherized home, that’s cool; in fact, I tilt my hat to you. For anyone who answered “no,” you’re cool for visiting this site, in order to learn more about how you can save energy and money, by simply weatherizing your home!

In the United States, there’s approximately 35% of energy emitting from most homes (not properly insulated, through doors, walls, and windows. And 10% of the energy escapes through the flooring, alone. Sneaky heat and air. Think about it, the more heat and air that seeps out of weathered cracks and gaps within your home, the greater chance of financial resources draining, too.

No need for all of that, right? So, how can you save money by saving energy? A few tips are listed below:

    1. Caulk: make sure that you seal the bottom and top rim and outside edges of all windows, the gaps around electrical outlets, and any small cracks or leaks throughout your home. Be sure to scrape and clean any old caulk away, enter and squeeze the caulk gun at a 45 degree angle to plug the exposed space, smear and dry.
    2. Door Sweeps and Door Seal Tape are great tools to prevent heat and/or air leaving your thresholds and/or door jam. Note that until you get all of the supplies you need, a towel will block the breeze, as well!
    3. Plastic or other Covering over Storm Windows is a good way to save energy and money, cut unwanted drafts, and prevent you from heating all of outside.



We hope that these tips will assist in getting you started with the process of weatherizing your home before the seasons shift. If you have gained knowledge and/or enjoyed this blog, please like, share and leave a comment.

SEEED’s mission is “to create pathways out of poverty for young adults through career readiness training, while equipping communities with environmental literacy skills.”

If you know any young adult between the ages of 18-28, that would be interested in SEEED’s pilot Energy Corps Program—life and career skills, energy services classes for Weatherization, Retrofit Installation Technician, and how to test for Building Envelope and Duct Leakage—have that person apply on SEEED’s Facebook page @seeedknox, or visit our location at 1617 Dandridge Ave, Knoxville, TN 37915. For any questions, call (865) 776-5185. The next class will begin in January.

Until next time, keep growing!

SEEED: Engagement w/ the Community

SEEED: Engagement w/the Community

Written by Taria Person
Posted by Treasure Hightower

Welcome to SEEED’s Weekly Voice! This week we will highlight the Work Day: Cleanup and Alumni Homecoming, which are just a couple of events happening at SEEED this week.




Yesterday, August 16th, 2017, SEEED hosted a Work Day: Cleanup, from 1-4pm. Many volunteers from the University of Tennessee- Knoxville, Appalachian Voices, and Knoxville Utilities Board assisted with cleaning the grounds, and contributed to the maintenance of SEEED’s edible forest. I asked volunteers what it meant for them to contribute to the community, and to be of service at events like the Work Day: Cleanup. See the video below to hear what they had to say!



At SEEED, it is apart of our mission “to create pathways out of poverty” and “equip communities with environmental literacy skills.” It was a wonderful experience to witness a group of people working to make sure that Knoxville sustains its beauty, and that SEEED’s mission is fulfilled. There is plenty of room and enough tools and tasks to share, so feel free to come volunteer, anytime. It takes a village to raise a community garden, so we hope to see you there. 


Tonight, August 17th, 2017 from 6:00-8:00pm,  SEEED is having its first Alumni Homecoming, which celebrates the graduates from previous Career Readiness Programs. This event will be full of food, door prizes, games, and a lot of fun! Many graduates will be accompanied by guests who may be interested in SEEED’s pilot Energy Corps Program; however, anyone that is interested in the pilot program or in the work that SEEED is doing, we would love to have you there.  


SEEED’s Energy Corps Program—a program that will teach life skills, career skills, construction trades, and energy services, such as weatherization and solar—begins on September 12th from 1-6pm. SEEED is still accepting applications for the Energy Corps Program, so if you know anyone between the ages of 18-28 that would be interested in this opportunity, have the person apply via FB or at SEEED. Thank you so much  for reading SEEED’s Weekly Voice. Don’t forget to like, comment, and share. Until next time, keep growing!



Meet the Staff: Rick Held

Interview w/Rick Held about the Energy Corps Program at SEEED

Written by Taria Person
Posted by Treasure Hightower 


Welcome to SEEED’s Weekly Voice! Yesterday, I had the honor of interviewing the Director of Community Engagement at SEEED, Rick Held. The conversation was inspirational and refreshing. I experienced Rick’s passion for SEEED, green jobs, and community engagement, through his story and vision for our future. I would like to share some of the interview with you all. Enjoy! 


Taria Person: Hi Rick! Thank you so much for interviewing with me today.


Rick Held: My pleasure.


Taria Person: SEEED’s mission is “to create pathways out of poverty for young adults through career readiness training, while equipping communities with environmental literacy skills.” What’s your role, in regards to SEEED, and its mission? Also, could you tell the story of how your SEEED journey began?


Rick Held: My role as Director of Community Engagement, is to help our at-risk communities discover and claim our resilience.  It’s about recovering and preserving the economic and environmental health and well-being of our low-income and working class communities. We are the communities that tend to get hit first, and are affected the worst, as far as, climate change and extreme weather. Community engagement is about coming together to find our own ways to turn these threats into opportunities.


As far as my SEEED journey, it began after I was laid off as a social studies teacher at Austin East High School. I heard about people in the community who were excited about President Obama’s plan to bring green jobs to the community. The people I was hearing about were Stan Johnson (Director of SEEED), and some young leaders he was working with (Jerome Johnson, Jarius Bush, and Joshua Outsey). Next thing I know, I’m sitting in the back yard talking with these fired-up young men about knocking on doors to see if people were interested in green jobs. Indeed they were, as it turns out.


Taria Person: Thank you. Right now, SEEED is accepting applications for its Energy Corps Program. The program, essentially, has two major components: life and career skills, followed by job training and placement. What type of candidates are ideal for this type of opportunity?


Rick Held: The best candidates for this opportunity are people who are not afraid to work or get dirty, and who want to learn more about construction trades…that are interested in construction trades, especially in energy services, such as weatherization, solar, etc. A big plus would be to find candidates that care about their community, and realize that this is an opportunity to have a job that helps the community save energy, money, and the environment. A trifecta of benefits in one job. 


Taria Person: Essentially, the Energy Corps Program is a job. Could you give a brief overview of the application process through the successful completion of the program? Also, could you express why is it important to inform people that the Energy Corps Program is a paid opportunity?



Rick Held: Sure. The first round of applicants will be reviewed, and in that process, we are looking for people who have a strong work ethic. That’s who we are looking for! Then we’ll interview folks and answer their questions. We’re accepting up to twelve people to begin the program, which will be the career skills portion such as, job acquisition, confidence building, resume building, personal accountability, interview practices, professional attire, etc. 


We are still working out if the program will be a nine or twelve week program, but the classes and trainings are three afternoons a week. While they are in the program, they will receive a hundred-dollar stipend, and lunch is included! After the first couple of weeks, we will evaluate students to see if they are a good fit for the Energy Corp Program. 


If they are a good fit, we will place them with a construction contractor for a solid week of on the job training, to get a real world feel for the work. They will also take introductory construction classes in the classroom, as well as, have hands on project experience taught by contractors. After a full week of on-the-job training, the trainees will come back into the classroom to take energy services classes for Weatherization Retrofit Installation Technician and how to test for Building Envelope and Duct Leakage.  This will give them an extra skill set to make them more valuable to an energy contractor.


Assuming successful completion of those courses, the trainee will be placed in a full time entry level position with the contractor they were training with.


Taria Person: Wow! This definitely sounds like a great opportunity.


Rick Held: Exactly. It’s the real deal.


Taria Person: For 7 years, SEEED has only had a Career Readiness Program. What kind of impact does the Energy Corps Program have in relation to SEEED, the staff at SEEED, and the community?


Rick Held: The impact that the Energy Corps Program has on SEEED, is that it is making us get more real about our mission, regarding pathways out of poverty through environmental literacy. There are all kinds of training programs in the community that will train people in certain skills, but there aren’t as many that will be able to place people in real jobs based on the skills they learn from the program. This is where we think SEEED stands out. We are actually working with contractors to design a program that imparts the skills that the contractors want, in order to hire the most qualified trainees after the program.  


Taria Person: That was a really great response.


Rick Held: (Laughs) Thank you!


Taria Person: What are some things that people can expect from the future of SEEED? And what makes you the proudest in your role at SEEED?


Rick Held: You can expect that people from city hall to the hood are going to recognize that SEEED is the real deal, when it comes to developing young people to make positive contributions to this community. What I’m most proud of are two things. First, that we’re still doing this, better than ever after eight years…starting in Stan’s backyard. I mean people didn’t know what to think of us six or seven years ago, and really didn’t take us seriously. But we’re proving them wrong! Second, there has been, and are so many people doing great things in the community, and other communities, that came from SEEED’s program. They are really doing great things out there, which includes the work that you are doing. 


Taria Person: Awww thanks.


Rick Held: It’s true! Thank you for this interview. 


Taria Person: Its been a pleasure. 


If you know of anyone who would be interested in the Energy Corps Program, have them apply at the SEEED location at 1617 Dandridge Ave, Knoxville, TN 37915. Look forward to seeing you all soon. Until next time, keep growing! 



What’s Happening Next?



Meet the Staff: Kesha Williams

Written by Taria Person

Welcome to SEEED’s Weekly Voice! The young adults at SEEED have been doing exceptional work, engaging and sharing information with the city of Knoxville, regarding this semesters Energy Corps Program. What’s Energy Corps? I had the opportunity to interview Kesha Williams at SEEED to further explain.

(Interview w/ Kesha)

Taria Person: What is your title at SEEED, and how long have you held the position?

Kesha: My title is, Community Engagement Manager. I’ve been in this position for about 8 months, but I’ve been with SEEED since fall of 2015.

Taria: What are some of the responsibilities of a Community Engagement Manger?

Kesha: My job entails community interaction, door-to-door canvassing, telling people about opportunities that SEEED offers to help them out, such as weatherizing their homes or recycling. And I’m responsible for finishing contracts and inputting all of the data from campaigns with and for investors. I organize teams for the week of canvassing, events, and meetings. And much more.

Taria: For people who may not know, what is the purpose of canvassing?

Kesha: The purpose of canvassing is to inform our community of programs that SEEED is offering, and programs from SEEED’s partners. The campaign we are doing now is our new Energy Corps Program. We offer weatherization skills, life and job skills, and plenty more. You can earn a weekly stipend, paid on-the-job technical training, and a possible job placement, with successful completion of the program.

Taria: What should people expect from SEEED this year?

Kesha: This year from SEEED, you can expect a lot of success not only from students, but growth within SEEED.

The mission of SEEED is to “create pathways out of poverty for young adults through career readiness training, while equipping communities with environmental literacy skills.”

If you are, or if you know someone is, 18-28, unemployed or underemployed, willing to get dirty, wants to earn a weekly stipend, entry-level building and construction skills, apply today!

SEEED–Socially, Equal, Energy, Efficient, Development–is an equal opportunity employer, so if anyone is interested, please come by the office and apply. Check out our amazing flyer to get SEEED’s address and contact information.

Thank you so much for reading SEEED’s Weekly Voice. Please like, comment, and share. Until next time, keep growing!

Grow Your Garden Workshop: Veggie Garden Maintenance

Written by Taria Person


Welcome to SEEED’s Weekly Voice! This week we will highlight the Grow your Garden Workshop Series, presented by the Center for Urban Agriculture. The event was held yesterday at the Morningside Community Center (SEEED) and facilitated by Amanda Spangler, Center for Urban Agriculture Manager at Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum.

Before the workshop, I was able to ask Amanda about the event, the partnership with SEEED, and to get more insight about the workshop in general.

“It’s an honor to be here! I enjoy promoting the awesome work that SEEED is doing. Most times, I come with more information than needed for the workshops, just incase there’s a topic that people are more interested in,” Spangler expressed. “It’s not realistic for everyone to come to us [Knoxville Botanical Garden], so it’s great to let people know that you all are a resource in the neighborhood. Also, these events are great because the proceeds go towards SEEED’s gardening program!”

Below, we will share a few tips from Spangler’s “Veggie Garden Maintenance” presentation.

1. “Wicked Weeds”

The first question was, “What’s a weed?” Soon we all found out that It’s pretty much an out of place plant. In the garden, weeds compete with other plants for things like water, space, and nutrients. Weeds are not aesthetic in gardens, and become a great place to host pests!

Ways to prevent weeds:
-Remove weeds before planting;
-Mulch suppresses wicked weeds;
-Don’t water the entire plant or bed! Only water the rooted area.

*Wood chips, sawdust, and recycled leaves make great mulch!

2. “Critter Control”
There are three methods regarding critter control: Mechanical, chemical, and cultural.

  • -Mechanical: fencing, scare tape, and netting;
  • -Chemical: soap and pepper sprays, predator’s urine;
    -Cultural: crop rotation, avoid monoculture, and less appetizing selections.

Make sure you research methods that would work best for your area. For instance, if you live where there are a lot of rabbits, fencing would be great; however, fencing may not be as effective for deer.

*For soap and pepper spray, use non-concentrated soap. Occasionally, change the recipe of your spray (cayenne pepper to habanero pepper) so pest don’t become immune.

3. “Plant Disease”
Diseased plants can occur for various reasons, but there are many methods of prevention. One way is to build and maintain a healthy ecosystem in your garden.

-sufficient amounts of water to reduce/avoid stress;
-if possible, water before 10 am;
-remove old plant debris from around.

And experiment in your gardens!

*Did you know that stressed plants send messages to pest, to let them know that they are available, versus healthy plants?

Thank you for reading this week’s blog. Don’t forget to like, comment, and share! If you missed last nights event, no worries, there are more to come. The next Grow your Garden workshop: Fall Fruits and Veggies is on September 13, 2017 at 5:30pm. Come join us! Until next time, keep growing!