Beardsley Community Farm sits on the former grounds of Beardsley Junior High School. In 1996, work began to convert the abandoned school grounds to a community garden. The city of Knoxville provided funds to build a greenhouse and the Community Action Committee (CAC) received a grant from the USDA to complete the conversion. Workers and volunteers from CAC and AmeriCorps continue to maintain and cultivate the space today.
Beardsley is an urban demonstration farm that grows organic produce and houses bee colonies and free-range chickens. All the food we grow is donated to local food pantries and others in need of fresh fruits and vegetables. We also work with community members and provide tools to help them grow their own food and learn about the financial and environmental benefits of home food production.
Off the farm, we provide nutrition education in elementary schools and after-school programs to teach kids about food and healthy living. Beardsley Farm is run by a dedicated farm manager, an assistant, and two AmeriCorps members. In addition, we rely on volunteers from the community to help us successfully maintain the farm.
If you are hungry for fresh, delicious vegetables or want to learn about organic gardening, you can enroll in our workshare CSA and volunteer with us in exchange for some fresh produce.
If you are a teacher or club leader, we can arrange for your group to visit the farm and learn about nutrition, the environment and teamwork.
Have other ideas? We will work with you to develop the project that best suits your group. Activities can include art projects, farm tours and assisting with our daily activities, such as watering, planting and harvesting.