Vision | Mission | Environmental | Paper | Management Team | Culture | Return/Refund/Cancellation | Contact

The Prior Unity Garden Story

People often ask us how we started this business and where the name comes from, so here is your answer ...

Both Debby and Russell have been gardening since they were children. When Russell moved to Virginia to Join Debby in 2008, they decided to expand 'the garden'. By Spring of 2009 they has transformed much of their over half acre lawn to food production. 2009 was a transition year, and all of a sudden there was a rush of momentum; quite unexpectedly, behind them starting a gardening business.

Meanwhile they had both read the book Not-Two Is Peace, by World Friend Adi Da, and agreed the wisdom in the book, was the most sound, lucid, social wisdom they had ever read. Russell exclaimed, "Finally something that could actually work !" Reading one of the concepts in the book gave Debby one of those 'Ah Ha !' moments. "Prior Unity" being already the case for all beings was the perfect description for how she has approached gardening her entire life. This was the impetus for the 'garden business' to truly happen.

It was obvious to Debby that the name would be "Prior Unity Garden" - with one "N", because there really is only one garden, spread all over the earth. Debby & Russell's diverse background and skills blend wonderfully to create this vibrant business helping others grow their own organic food at home.

Vision Statement

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To create a priorly connected worldwide network of beautiful, organic, food gardens, contributing to healthy lives and the sustaining of the natural resources and biodiversity of earth, forever.

Mission Statement

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Prior Unity Garden helps people grow their own organic food through a mix of services and products. We support sustainable, healthy lifestyles and promote sustainable gardening, community and living. We are a synergistic team of professionals including gardeners with lifetimes of experience.

Environmental Statement

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Prior Unity Garden is committed to sustainable gardening, community and lifestyle practices. In addition to promoting organic, biodynamic, and permaculture no-chemical gardening, we also support and promote other aspects of sustainable conscious living that supports the biodiversity of planet earth and the continued health and wellbeing of all those who live on earth. We work with sustainable minded organizations, seed companies and other businesses and aim to be a positive model for our community. We are committed to using reused and recycled items in what we build, items we purchase, and being creative in reusing as much as we can. We promote and practice non-chemical lifestyles, including natural non-chemical health and healing.

We are a Gold Certified Green Business by Green America - You can see what we have done to acheive this honor.

PUG Paper Stewardship and Reduction Policy

1. We reuse and/or recycle all pieces of paper and cardboard that come in contact with us (that do not needed to be filed for documentation purposes), either by sending for recycling, putting in the compost pile, or using as mulch in the garden.

2. We have a pile of usable paper, envelop backs, etc., that are used as note paper, prior to being recycled.

3. We only use 100% recycled office paper with a minimum of 50% post consumer content in our office. We are currently able to get 100% recycled post consumer office paper.

4. We print our business and informational post cards on 100% recycled post consumer paper stock.

5. For other paper products used in the office, such as folders, we seek out used ones or buy recycled.

6. We have eliminated physical mailing except a once a year gift for certain clients.

7. Although we provide paper payment options for those who have gone credit card or internet free, we provide paper free paying options for all services and products.

8. We have eliminated as much paper transactions for business, such as tax filing, as is safely possible.

Management Team

debby ward gardener grow blueberries
Debby Ward, Founder & Owner

Debby Ward is the Founder and Owner of Prior Unity Garden, Growing Your Own Organic Food Made Easy. Debby is a manager, educator, presenter and organic/biodynamic gardener, with over 40 years of gardening experience. Her interest in growing plants started as soon as she could crawl around the family garden. Her family always had food and herb gardens in which she participated and she has continued that tradition.

She began intensively growing herbs and vegetables in the late 1980s as she started a homemade salsa and herb blend business from 200 containers on her patio. She began focusing on plants for food and medicine as a young adult and holds several certificates in medicinal herbalism and has training in native plants, biodynamics, organic and native gardening, apothecary management, vegetarian cooking, small business management, project management, time management, risk management, negotiation, and conflict resolution.

Debby loves to help grow gardeners and has trained Master Gardeners in Fairfax County VA for the County Extension Office, taught for The Mason Sustainability Institute, for the Grow Your Health-Gardening,Food and Wellness Festival, various Fairfax County events, and for many other local organizations and groups

She is the past President of Joe Pye and Friends, the National Capital Area Herbal Network and has written many articles on individual herbs and topics such as Herbs for Diabetes, Stress Relief and Cherokee Healing. She has written a booklet on Seed Starting and Safe Seed Buying as well as all the course materials for Prior Unity Garden classes. She also created the Prior Unity Garden product line.

Debby loves to 'paint with plants' as she now calls it, combining her love of plants with her fine arts degree and sense of style, color and space. She values biodiversity, community, healthy living soil, fresh organic food and the prior unity inherent in all beings.

russell furbush grow raspberries
Russell Furbush, Design & Installation

Russell is a problem solver and an issue resolver with a passion for rebuilding healthy soil to grow healthy plants. Drawing on his former thriving Acupuncture Practice, he works to help and integrate people and land.

He designs, builds and teaches people how to build structures such as roof gardens, greenhouses, rabbit hutches, cold frames, and trellises as well as garden beds, and perennial food areas. He works with clients on water retention strategies for their gardens, including sighting, designing and building places for water retention that are appropriate in each situation.

Russell has a lifetime of gardening experience, hands on permaculture training and lives by the permaculture principles. He loves to help people integrate perennial food crops into their landscape. Our clients love his creative, functional and personalized resolutions to their garden issues and his wealth of knowledge. His vision, so enjoyed by our students, is of a redesigned productively abundant suburban landscape.

13 Point Culture Statement

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1. Prior Unity - I live in the disposition of Prior Unity with all beings.

2. Respect - I respect each member Prior Unity Garden, our clients and all beings, both human and non-human and understand each is equal, valuable and important. I show everyone respect in many ways.

3. Excellence - I provide the best possible service because I am part of the best possible team. I truly serve the Mission and Vision of Prior Unity Garden. I look for ways to do more with less in a sustainable way. I always provide products, services and service that are of exceptional quality and to which I am proud to put my name.

4. Teamwork - I am a team member and player. I focus on cooperation, tolerance and peace when working with other team members and clients. I value every member of the company as an equal team member and I am a positive team member who ensures the team remains synergistic and supportive. I provide compassionate assistance for other team members.

5. Integrity - I act with utmost integrity at all times within the company, my team and with all our clients. I live all the points in the Prior Unity Garden Culture Statement with our team and clients at all times. I always speak the truth and deliver what I say. I only make agreements I am able and willing to fulfill. I communicate potential broken agreements quickly and honestly. I am honest with myself, team members and clients and am therefore known and acknowledged as being trustworthy.

6. Transcendence - I strive to transcend my limitations and provide support for other team members to do the same. I know for things to change, I must change and only I am responsible for my actions. I never use or listen to negative speech, sarcasm or gossip. I always apologize for any upsets and work for solutions.

7. Gratitude - I am grateful for other team members and all persons and beings who come in contact with our company. I say 'Thank You' and 'Your Welcome' and show appreciation in many ways. I am grateful for all I have in my life and celebrate wins with team members and clients. I consistently catch myself and team members doing things right. I speak positively of my team members and clients.

8. Creative - I creatively participate and contribute to my team and the company so everyone on the team can improve. I strictly use Prior Unity Garden systems for solutions and when I am see a potential improvement, I communicate these at the first opportunity. I participate in the disposition of never ending improvement and innovation and know my contribution matters.

9. Ownership - I take responsibility and ownership for all my actions and outcomes. I am accountable for my results. I do not use tobacco, alcohol or any type of drug or intoxicant in the workplace, at work related events or around clients. I am known to be a disciplined and responsible person.

10. Consistency - I am consistent and disciplined in my work and actions therefore, team members and clients know they can rely on me. I use Prior Unity Garden systems to maintain outstanding consistency and quality for our team and our clients. I am consistent in my personal growth, results and success.

11. Balance - I have a balanced approach to life, remembering that body, emotion, mind, breath, heart, work and personal life must be balanced for my individual wellbeing, and, therefore the wellbeing of the team, the company and all those around me.

12. Fun - I understand this live is a journey. I create an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment around me with a positive outlook. I support team members to be positive when situations appear to be less than ideal. I am committed to happiness and this shows in all I do.

13. Prosperity - I live in the disposition of prosperity, knowing that there are unlimited resources. I assume and live knowing whatever is needed will simply manifest by grace. I am a successful prosperous person.

Return/Refund/Cancellation Process

We are a small business dedicated to working with our community. We will work with you the best we can, especially in cases of emergencies. Unfortunately our time has not always been respected in the past, therefore we have instated the following policies.

For Consultations

Consultations may be rescheduled up to 24 hours prior to your scheduled consultation with no penalty. After 24 hours, they are subject to a $25 rescheduling fee. Consultations may be cancelled up to 7 days prior to your scheduled consultation with no penalty. Consultations cancelled after this date are subject to a $50 cancellation fee.

For Designs, Plans, Installations & Maintenance

Once an agreement has been made for design, planning or installation services, the agreement is expected to be honored and paid in full on the mutually agreed upon payment plan. We do not apply refunds to these services. Any client who would like to cancel these services are subject to a cancellation fee equal to 25% of the total agreed upon service price. The one refund exception is, if you have scheduled maintenance for your trip and the trip has been cancelled, we will either refund you 50% or you can use the entire fee for another trip later on.

For Classes

All classes are to be paid in full, or under a posted payment plan, when you sign up. You may cancel your place in a class up to 5 days prior to the class date. After that date, we do not provide refunds except in emergencies. If the minimum number of people requried to hold class is not reached, we refund your money in full or you may use the money toward another class or service of your choice.

For Plants & Seeds

For individual plant sales, due to environmental impacts beyond our control, we do not provide refunds, although in some cases, we will provide replacements if possible. For plants installed as part of a design project, we will replace the plants during the first year if they die with standard care and maintenance.

For Products

If you truly didn't like the product you purchased from us, you may return it for a full refund, provided you tell us why you did not like it so we can improve the product. We do not refund for soil mixes, rock dust or other amendments.

Thank you kindly - Your Local Garden Team