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Marcus Paul Miller

President and Founder

I have been fortunate to have had many things go my way in Life - I have also had many misfortunes! It is through this combination of experiences that I believe God has prepared me for this outreach.

I have always loved being outdoors and was blessed to stand beside my father-in-law in the garden while learning how to cultivate food during his final years. It would take many pages to explain the impact that had on me as an individual, on me as a Christian, and on me as a father. The lessons I took from our time is pouring out of me into this project and the people I encounter along the way. See, it was during this time that it occurred to me that raising a garden is similar to developing relationships - in a metaphorical way. 

We are using this conduit of gardening to bring people together in the community in an effort to not only educate on sustainability, but also on resilience. Each time we have people come together they bring with them their stories, their experiences. This is what community looks like. Everyone is hungry for something...what are you hungry for? Join us a HGH to understand why it is that from the beginning of human history community and agriculture have been inseparable.


Renee Abernethy-Miller

Director of Marketing and Co-Founder

I have been with HGH from the start. As the story goes on a spring night in 2015 my husband and I starting talking how to honor my father, Fred D Abernethy.         I had always helped my Dad grow a large garden. We had three tractors that I loved driving at a young age. Because of his passion we wanted to create a garden program that would give back to the community. Before long, we had a board and support by Service in Action at Transportation Insight where we work. Our   5 Year Anniversary is this year. We have been blessed for all the love and support from our Volunteers, Community and Board Members. Before Covid-19 we had around 200 active volunteers. Covid-2020 was very challenging, but we where able to harvest plenty of produce. We have donated over 20,000 pounds of fresh produce to the Hickory Soup Kitchen and the Community since 2016. What we did not know is that Dad was not able to be with us for our first Grand Opening (Dedication to Him) and later left this earth   in 2016. 

I have been a designer for the last 40 years. I have taken my knowledge and experience to produce the HGH Newsletters, Signs, Social Media, Promos, Website and much more.

Marcus and I have 2 beautiful kids. They have been very supported of our cause. Our daughter loves helping at the farm and other gardens.

What I have always said when we started the organization...If we helped one person in the community we have completed our mission. Boy,

we will never know how many people we have

really helped by all the veggies we have given out to the community.

We still plant at my parents farm. Just recently we planted 7 rolls of potatoes....We know that Dad is looking down from heaven and we could hear him tell us to make sure you have the eyes of the potatoes looking up to the sky.

We have been blessed. Thanks to all that support we have received throughout the years.


Michele Long

Vice President and Co-Founder

I am the grandmother of four precious children, a Master Gardener, an author, an educator, and a Hickory Greenway Harvest Inc (HGH) board member. Like HGH, I believe it is essential to teach gardening skills to the next generations and to bring back the traditions that sustained us in the past. Everyone needs access to good healthy, local foods.


Patty Valentini 

Hickory Greenway Harvest Secretary

My pathway to Hickory Greenway Harvest was a product of my friendship and working relationship with Marcus and Renee Miller. Unlike some HGH members, I am not a gardener. But I have a passion for taking care of our earth and for those who inhabit it.  It’s exciting to see and to contribute to what Hickory Greenway Harvest means to our earth and to our community. I live in Hickory with my husband, Ron,  and we have a blended family of six children and   eight grandchildren.


Dana Abernathy

Hickory Greenway Harvest Treasurer


Being from a family that planted a garden every summer educated me on growing, harvesting and canning the fresh fruits and vegetables that we raised.  It was a time spent together as a family.  I have many fond memories relating back to those gardening days.  As a Hickory Greenway Harvest Board Member, I want to help spread their mission in the community through the charitable giving, outreach and education they provide.  I live in Cherryville with my husband, Randy, who is a Hickory native.  We have 2 wonderful daughters and 3 beautiful grandchildren.

Michael Willard

Director of Public Relations and               SALT Block Garden Manager


Growing up I raced among row crops, worked in the family garden and endured countless lessons in cow pastures and poultry houses of Lower Alabama. Sometimes I loved it. Others I hated it. Combined, it made me who I am. 

Now, as a father of two “city” boys, I got involved with Hickory Greenway Harvest to help my sons access all the things I learned in and around a garden. From planting day until harvest, we nurture a sustainable, lasting impact - whether they like it or not! 

Away from the garden, I’ve propagated, pruned –

and definitely fertilized! – words throughout my life, including 20 years spent laboring over written and spoken language for media, marketing and public relations. Travel adventures, trail hikes, meat smoking and football fill any space not occupied by life’s

staple crops.

Volunteerism is a gift to the community and should never be underestimated. 

Without the assistance of the many people who have stepped up to the plate HGH would not be possible!

I love to 


I want to

learn how

to garden!

My kids 

look forward

to planting!


out and volunteer

for HGH!

This will be great

for our community!




Me About


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