Autumn is right around the corner with crisps days and the falling of the leaves. This week canning equipment, measuring cups were given to first year participants. Many participants are hard at work canning. Potatoes will be coming in soon and will be added to the harvest.  Corns, beans, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes were the popular crops for the summer. It was a good outpouring yield that overcame the temperamental weather.

A day spent in the ECD Garden

In the 1920s at Red Bird Mission, the dorm students who insisted on beans, the pinto variety at the meals helped with the canning and stringing. An education of gardening and food preservation through GROW Appalachia revives a great tradition on the Queendale Campus and in Red Bird’s tri-county service area.  The highlight of this week is a new garden site right outside the Early Childhood Development classroom. Chad Brock, GROW Appalachia Field Technician and other volunteers cleared and laid down mulch in a 20ft by 20ft space. Red Bird Crest Farm owned by Bettina and Dave Balmer donated plants and stone pavers for a path. Wood for fencing was donated from the Red Bird Mission Community Housing Improvement Ministry and Brock. 

Skipping on Stone Pavers

Time out on the wooden bench

Brock and other helping hands finished a path of stepping stones where the preschoolers like to skip and to explore the plants that their food comes from. Mrs. Shirley and the children, 3 and 4 year olds spent time outside in the garden once it was finished. In the garden is a wooden bench where the preschoolers can rest from skipping and soak up the sunshine. 
Examining the flowers
Getting children interested in a garden at a young age will encourage them to continue an outstanding Appalachian tradition of gardening and food preservation. As a Development intern for Red Bird Mission, I am pleased to share GROW Appalachia’s outreach for former blog writer Magan Meade. Meade  and Fred Rweru, GROW Appalachia interns were great contributors to the program this summer.