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LMU Organic Garden Expands Beekeeping with New Grant

Harrogate, Tennessee, May 24, 2017—The Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) Organic Community Garden has expanded its beekeeping operation through a Sponsor-A-Hive grant from the Honeybee Conservancy/Anthophilous.

The garden received a beekeeping beginner’s kit, a queen bee and court, three pounds of bees and one beekeeping suit through the grant. The new equipment and bees will expand the garden’s bee keeping capacity and enable garden members to cultivate their own organic honey.

The garden began its beekeeping in 2011, when the Clinch Valley Beekeepers Association donated two colonies of bees. The organization currently has five colonies in residence at the apiary at the garden. Garden Director Bill Clayton manages the operation with the assistance of Lloyd Snelson, president of the Clinch Valley Beekeepers. The garden partners with local beekeeping associations to present beginning beekeeping workshops and other educational programming on bees. Additional funding for the bee operations at the garden comes from Grow Appalachia.

“While honey is a sweet touch, the LMU Organic Community Garden’s apiary is utilized for educational purposes to promote beekeeping and the value of the honeybee in pollination of our gardens,” Clayton said. “Honeybees are credited with pollinating 80% of all all fruit, vegetable and nut crops.”

The garden aims to be a place novice beekeepers can visit to learn essential skills and gain confidence in their ability to manage a colony. Garden member Simon Strickland, a freshman at the J. Frank White Academy, is a junior member of 4-H Beekeepers who is taking advantage of that opportunity.  He applied for a grant for a colony through the Claiborne County Bee Friends and the Tennessee Bee Keepers Association. He is keeping his colony on site at the Garden under Clayton’s mentorship until he feels comfortable enough to take his bees home with him.

“Working on these grants and with the bees, I have learned how important it is to protect the bees,” Strickland said.

Open to adults and children, the garden offers individual raised bed gardens and a large community garden where members plant, work and share in the harvest at no cost. The Garden is 100 percent organic and does not utilize chemical pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers. Garden members meet every Monday at the garden center for updates and discussion, gardening education and informal time for fellowship and networking. Additionally, members are encouraged to attend to their beds as needed and assist on Wednesday work sessions when weather permits.

The LMU Organic Garden facilities are located on the south side of campus down the boulevard from LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine near the roundabout. Meetings are held in the classroom/kitchen facility on the grounds. Classes are led by gardening experts, extension agents from the University of Kentucky and University of Tennessee and area leaders.

The mission of the LMU Organic Community Garden is to offer a place to learn about gardening, healthy eating and preparation and preservation of food in healthy ways. Initiated by the LMU Board of Trustees, the organization is self-governed by its members and is supported by grants and funds from Grow Appalachia and other foundations. Funded by the generosity of John Paul Dejoria, co-founder and CEO of John Paul Mitchell Systems, Inc., Grow Appalachia is an outreach education and service project of Berea College. For more information about the LMU Organic Community Garden contact Bill Clayton (organichillbilly_lmu@yahoo.com) at 423.441.9133.

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies.  The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at admissions@lmunet.edu.

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423.869.3611 | 800.325.0900
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752