ASPI Grow Appalachia held the ground breaking ceremony and work day for the future Richmond Street Community Garden this week.  David came down for a visit to see the action and meet the cast of characters.  City of Mt. Vernon Mayor Bryant was on hand along with a dedicated bunch from the community who came out to help get the project up and going.  Those volunteering included:  Healthy Communities Committee members, a representative (Holly Hopkins) of the development association that owns the property and a number of local citizens, including school superintendent Larry Hammonds, as well as our enthusiastic Girl Scout Troop.  Mark Davis of PRIDE was on hand to assist the Girl Scouts in making rain barrels.  The girls had a great time painting barrels, as well as doing some planting in the newly installed raised beds.   
The local paper (Mt. Vernon Signal) sent a photographer to cover the event with promises of an article in next week’s paper.  The community has taken a great interest in the project and plans are to develop the site to include an educational aspect as well as putting in some benches, maybe a pavilion, etc. and turning the site into a local gathering place as well as encouraging folks to take on a garden plot.  The local (and, at this point, struggling) Farmer’s Market adjoins the garden space and we hope to see a partnership/collaboration of the two groups that will benefit the citizenry. 
Other news includes our May workshop on Home Food Processing that was given by our Extension specialist, Hazel Jackson to a group of 24 attendees.  It was a successful program with much input from the attendees, making it a fun experience for all.  Everyone went home with a small basket of supplies and a great deal of information.