My name is Brook Loar, and this summer I worked as a Youth Leader in Agriculture for Project GROWS. Next year, I’ll be a junior at Staunton High School and I can’t overstate what a pleasant experience it’s been working with all the Project GROWS staff.

Everyone brings a different perspective that helped round my view of small-scale local farming and eco-friendly farming practices. I would recommend this position for anyone interested in their community and willing to learn more about gardening and cultivating vegetables. On a daily basis, we complete tasks on and around the Project GROWS farm and the Waynesboro Education Farm, such as weeding, implementing irrigation systems, seeding, and harvesting mature crops.

Everything you do a Project GROWS has a purpose, and it all goes towards growing a variety of vegetables and produce for people in the Shenandoah Valley. If you like to be actively making a difference in your surrounding community, this is absolutely the place to start.

I had such a great time helping out on this vibrant farm, and it was a beautiful setting to find out more about the local food industry and permaculture practices. We also frequently visited the Waynesboro Education Farm, which is being modified to make into a more educational space with projects like a water feature and a sunflower labyrinth. I can’t imagine spending my summer any other way.