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Gregory Family Has Plans
For Former Minnora School
by Robin Gordon
     

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Bob, Lynnita and Jordyn Gregory have transplanted their agricultural ministries to Minnora.

Bob and Lynnita have been married since 2002. Combined, they have six children: Marissa, Dane, Melanie, Joshua, Jamie and Jordyn.

Jordyn, a 5th grader, is the only child still at home. The adult children live throughout the U.S. The Gregorys also have three grandchildren.

The family relocated to Calhoun from Rapidan, Va., after researching areas around the country for three years. Bob said they looked for a place with unique qualities, lots of water, rural, and “isolation of hollers” that did not have a lot of contamination.

The Gregory’s purchased a 118-acre farm beside the former Minnora School. When the school came up for auction, they decided that the facility would be beneficial for their long-term goals, and their Berea Gardens Agricultural Ministries.

While restoring a house on the farm, the family lives in the school building, where a clinic was located.

Lynnita is a registered nurse at Culpepper Hospital in Virginia. For her job, the family travels to Culpepper one time a month.

Jordyn enjoys the woods, the water, the mountains, and her horse, Avalanche.

Bob has taught agriculture at Hartland Institute of Health and Education, Rapidan, for nearly 10 years.

Both Bob and Lynnita were agriculture training missionaries at the school, where they learned various skills that have been helpful to whatever audience they were ministering.

Being Seventh-day Adventists, part of their fundamental denomination is health.

When it comes to growing and raising food, Bob said, “Without a healthy body, you don’t have a healthy mind. The more we educate, the more people have the opportunity to make wise decisions.”

They vocally oppose the genetic modification of food, and feel that it is a very important issue.

“People are blessed in Calhoun County with this rural environment, where American traditions, gardening, and self-sufficient traditions exist,” said Bob.

Their long-term goals for the former school include making use of the commercial kitchen by putting in a bulk food store and making granola, among other items. They will have working lab greenhouses.

Through Berea Gardens, they would like to train young people and families to learn how to work with the land, and use agriculture so people can support themselves.

Bob said that many families are overwhelmed with city living, financially and spiritually, and that many are choosing the rural way of life, but people are not sure how to make the transition. Through their nation-wide network, they would like to teach the rural self-supporting lifestyle.

Lynnita said, “We do see (the school building) as a community resource, and will maintain it in some fashion as a community resource as it fits in with our ministry.”

The Gregorys are “very committed” to working with the community.

Presently, they have some cold frame greenhouses set up, so they can harvest kale and other greens during the winter months.

In the fall, they will grow broccoli, Swiss chard, lettuce and kale. They also have miniature roses (which are good to teach people how to graft roses) and fig trees. Eventually, they would like to open a seed bank for the area.

Once they are settled, the Gregorys would like to have an open house for the community. Both agreed that the “locals have been gracious about sharing” from their garden.

“Good old fashioned values, sense of community, and true values” is the best part of Calhoun, said Lynnita.

For information, visit www.bereagardens.org.

 

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