2016-04-01 / Shorts

Growing Green

Tyler Disalle

Brian and Gabrielle Kinney want more than your thumbs to be green. The owners of the new Organic Garden Center on Elmwood Street want to educate and encourage everyone to embrace their store’s motto: “Grow Your Own.”

An idea that sprung from healthy eating has blossomed into a brand-new store in Happy Valley. After assisting his brother at his Organic Garden Center in Williamsport, Brian Kinney jumped at the opportunity to open his own business in State College.

“The gardening community here is so much bigger, and there’s so much more of an interest in people growing organically and being healthier,” says Kinney.

Above all, the store prides itself on working with and helping to improve the community. Between the various gardening classes offered from month to month and its partnerships with local schools, the Organic Garden Center’s mission is to provide people around the State College area with the materials and knowledge needed to develop healthy lifestyles.

“We want to reach out to the community, especially schools,” says Kinney, who will hold a grand opening April 23. “If we can teach them where their food comes from, then we’re helping revitalize that and get them interested in growing their own food.”

The center will hold three to four classes a month, open to all ages. From lessons on composting and growing mushrooms to seed starting and learning about indoor lighting, a wide range of topics will be covered — including a monthly class on hydroponics.

Kinney says he wants to show people that organic gardening is something that can be done year-round. His slogan “grow your own” is about empowering people to lead healthier lifestyles.

“It’s important to go organic because you’re not only being healthier for yourself, but you’re maintaining the sustainability of the environment. You’re not using synthetics and you’re being more natural,” Kinney says. “You don’t have to worry about what you’re putting in your body if you’re going organic.”

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