As the growing season leaps into action and the valley starts to bloom, the Grow Appalachia Gardeners are all asking, “How soon can I plant tomatoes?” My reply is, “Not Yet! Give it a few weeks before you plant Tomatoes.” The warm weather in March and April has everyone excited about their gardens. We have several new participants in the Clairfield area this year. One of the main things that I have heard repeatedly is, “Thank God for this program, without it I wouldn’t have been able to plant a garden.”  One woman said, “I didn’t get to plant a garden last year because I couldn’t afford the plants and seeds and I didn’t know about this program.” When I asked her how she had heard about the program she said, Henderson Settlement Community Outreach program had helped her get an eye exam and purchase a new pair of Eyeglasses. While filling out the application forms for the eyeglasses, Lisa (Community Outreach) had told her about the Grow Appalachia Project.
Shittake Mushroom Experiment
In March one of our volunteers provided us with the opportunity to grow Shittake Mushrooms. Elizabeth bought the spores and encouraged us to attempt to grow the mushrooms. Elizabeth visited for a week, ordering the Shittake Spores, volunteering in the greenhouse and seeing to it that we had logs to use for the Shittake Mushrooms. When the spores arrived, I asked for help from some of the gardeners. Three of the gardeners stepped-up and volunteered to help, Jennifer, Shonda and Jesse volunteered to help drill holes and inject the spores into the logs.  We are all eager to find out if our mushroom experiment will succeed or not.
Ruthann starting plants for the green house

Volunteer helping out in the green house potting plants

Green House

Our green houses are open and the gardeners are starting to select their plants and seeds.
We have started tilling the gardens and have used our new bush hog  to clean around the Food Pantry Garden.