Turtles, Picnic Tables, & Summer Camp at the HON Urban Farm

By Josh Corlew, HON Urban Agriculture Program Manager –

We have a lot of visitors on the Farm, each one bringing their own special gifts. Volunteers bring their willing spirit and hard work, donors bring the resources needed to keep our program going, our apprentices bring leadership and education, and our campers bring a youthful enthusiasm and curiosity. But there are also several non-human visitors on the Farm. Here’s a picture of one of the more unique visitors that our apprentices found last week:

Photo of turtle
Hi, momma Shelly.

We named him Sheldon initially, welcomed him to our space, and went about our day. Later that afternoon we came back to find Sheldon is actually Shelly… she had dug a nest in our tomato row! We’re not sure if she’ll be back to lay eggs or raise some tiny turtles, but we’ll keep an eye out for her.

Another favorite visitor to the Farm is Sally the salamander, and she helps keep the pests at bay:

Photo of salamander
Isn’t he cute?!

Last Friday one of our corporate partners, Deloitte, joined us for a day of impact. They built five new compost bins and two beautiful picnic tables for us. Here’s one of the cedar picnic tables:

Cedar picnic table
These picnic tables will provide a much-needed place to relax and take a breather for our Farm volunteers. Thank you, Deloitte!

This week was our first week of Summer Camp at the Farm. Every day we’ll have teens from area nonprofits coming out to learn and work on the Farm. Led by our apprentices, the campers learn about the food system, how to grow food, why it’s important to eat healthy food, and how to cook some simple recipes using farm fresh produce. Our schedules are booked from Mondays through Thursdays, but on Fridays we have room for other teens to come participate. If you’re 11 through 18 and would like to join us on the Farm on a Friday, just sign up here by clicking on one of the VolunTEEN opportunities. Learn more about the HON Urban Farm here.

JoshJosh Corlew is Hands On Nashville’s Urban Agriculture Program Manager. He oversees the organization’s efforts to engage volunteers in service opportunities that empower them to gain gardening skills, learn about healthy eating choices, and help address our city’s food access issues. An AmeriCorps alumnus, Josh also has a secret past life as a Trekkie (he’s a big fan of the TV series Star Trek, for the uninitiated among us), and he has been known to participate in death-defying canoe trips.


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