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Living in Staunton

By Freddy Carruth, Phase II Fellow

So far, my time in Staunton has been split between work at my Phase II partner organization, Project GROWS, and transitioning my life to the city.

I’m glad to say that my move to Staunton and Virginia feels like it is finally settling down. After two months in Staunton, I have become very familiar with the utilities offices, DMV, and VW car dealership. I’m nearly on a first name basis with the folks in the service department at VW. My car finally has become a Virginia citizen and has his state inspection sticker. While posting flyer for Project Grows, I’ve also visited various businesses, going into places that I might never have gone into.

Cooking at home has been great, but it has also been fun to splurge and enjoy the area restaurants every once in a while. I have been able to enjoy some dinners with the other Phase II Fellows at Snapdragon and Chicano Boy. Aside from eating together, we have continued other Phase I classics, such as playing music and pool. As the weather keeps on heating up, I look forward to visiting the parks in Staunton and seeing the community become more active.

The Back Creek Boys eating dinner at Chicano Boy

I’ve never had an “office” job before, but I have really enjoyed being inside while we get ready for the growing season during these colder months. The snow days in February would not have been great days to be outside. However, I can confirm that your back can still hurt even if you aren’t doing physical work every day and look forward to being out on the farm more in the sunny weather.

Even though it’s winter, I have still done some community engagement and have been able to work with groups from the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club. Soon, we’ll be hosting school groups on our farm, leading them through educational lessons on nutrition, plant science, and the environment. We’ve put so much work into preparing for these outdoor activities and events and it’s been exciting to watch them slowly come together.

Teaching plant science and nutrition will be a new experience for me, and I still need to master my teaching voice, but I’m sure that by my next blog I will have become a pro!

The Project GROWS farm waiting for the sun to melt the snow away

Keeping our greens warm during these colder days

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