We partner with the Virginia Tech Civic Agriculture and Food Systems minor, the Center for Food and Community Transformation, Blacksburg’s Parks and Recreation Department, Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener and Master Naturalist programs, and the Virginia Native Plant Society. These partnerships have created a number of demonstration projects at the garden meant to educate and inspire our gardeners, visitors and volunteers.

Garden Cook Stove

Cookstove

Based on a design for efficient wood-burning stoves used in the highlands of Guatemala, this stove can be used with a flattop ‘plancha’ or grill grates. The stove is available to gardeners and community members for use in preparing and sharing community meals.

pollinator garden

Pollinator Garden

A pollinator garden is planted with flowers that provide nectar or pollen for a wide range of pollinating insects. Effective pollinator gardens include an abundance of flower varieties that can grow in succession throughout the season and avoid the use of pesticides. We are grateful to the New River Valley Master Gardeners for maintaining our beautiful pollinator garden.

Apiary

Hear the buzz in the two bee yards, also known as apiaries. Our resident beekeeper, Richard Reid of Happy Hollow Honey, produces raw, unheated, and unfiltered honey. The apiary encourages pollination at the garden and is used for informal beekeeping education for interested community members. Read more about Richard’s philosophy and check out the great photos here.

Native Plant propogation center

Established in collaboration with the NRV Regional Commission and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, this center is a space for cultivating and conserving important native species. These plants are important for maintaining biodiversity, in an increasingly developed landscape. Native plants provide important food and habitat for insects and wildlife.

Roper Solar Greenhouse

This 18’x32′ greenhouse utilizes a subterranean heating and cooling system. Community members grow herbs, greens and other crops during the winter months when outdoor food production is limited by cold temperatures. The greenhouse was designed by Virginia Tech Professor Emeritus Dr. David Roper, and built collaboratively by businesses and volunteers in 2009.