Those who picked up the Dec. 8 edition of The Oglethorpe Echo newspaper found a new magazine, Home Grown, slipped between the paper’s pages.
Home Grown, which is also available online, is a product of Journalism lecturer Lori Johnston’s Home and Garden Reporting class. It was made possible thanks to a stipend from the UGA Libraries and the Center for Teaching and Learning’s Special Collections Libraries Fellows program, designed to bring archives-focused learning into classrooms.
“As I considered how to best use the funding from the program, our College’s effort to save this nearly 150-year-old weekly newspaper led me down the road to Oglethorpe County and the idea for a special print and digital publication,” Johnston wrote in her editor’s note on the magazine’s first full page.
Grady College and The Echo entered into a partnership in October 2021, and journalism students have served as the paper’s writing staff for the past 13 months.
The semester-long project for the Home and Garden Reporting class started in the archives of UGA’s Special Collections Libraries, where students pulled archival materials, such as maps and archived images of properties in Oglethorpe County, to develop a fundamental understanding of the county’s history and aesthetic.
They furthered their understanding of the area’s culture, as well as its architecture and design styles, by interviewing residents, artists, preservationists and gardeners in the county about their homes, gardens and artistic passions.
The 16-page magazine includes profiles, how-tos and other stories depicting how residents of Oglethorpe County express themselves through their homes and gardens. They produced stories, photographs and videos for the publication, which was designed by Amy Scott (AB ’20).
“Being a part of this course and contributing to the Home Grown magazine has been a challenging and rewarding experience,” said journalism major Ashley Balsavias. “It’s great to have a final product to show as a testament to our diligent work for the past few months.”
For one student, journalism major Christa Bugg, the project hit close to home. While sifting through the library archives, Bugg found a photograph from 1978 with a caption reading “Bugg House cr. 1710-20.” The single-bedroom cabin, which sits on 150 acres of land hugging the Oconee National Forest, happened to still be in the family, and Bugg, after calling up a relative, had the opportunity to tour it. On page 14 of Home Grown magazine, Bugg tells the full story.
Print editions of Home Grown magazine can be purchased in Oglethorpe County at Bell’s Food Store, Golden Pantry locations or the Echo office in Lexington.