As you all know, it is very busy this time of year but here’s a quick update from St Vincent Mission.
Teresa and Irene at the north end of their garden
I visited a couple of families yesterday and was very pleased with their gardens. The Compton’s have planted a bunch this year with the plan of both selling at the Farmer’s Market and canning. In fact, Teresa and her mother Irene Castle are going to be presenters at our canning class in July. Teresa and Irene had an interesting conversation while I was there yesterday about sweet potatoes. We are getting our slips from Crystal and her sister-in-law Paula so I am taking orders. Teresa said she wanted at least a hundred but Irene remarked that they didn’t need any. When I asked her why, she said, “for what little we use ‘em, it’s just cheaper and easier to buy ‘em from the store.” I ran in to that mindset a lot when I was recruiting families and now that I have a bit of gardening for food under my belt (both literally and figuratively) I can see why a lot of people choose to not garden. It is hard work!!
Bradie in his garden with the walnut tree in the background
Another family I visited was Bradie and Mary Nolan. Bradie was our Gardener of the Year last season and he is putting a lot of effort into his gardens again this year. He has doubled his plot from last year, added another for sweet potatoes, has two onion-lettuce-mustard green beds and put a small plot out for his granddaughter. An interesting side note to Bradie’s gardens: the south side of his big plot is bordered by a walnut tree and he has been told by both the Soil Conservation District agent, Tony Grubb, and me (through my classes at the Extension Office) that he is going to have problems growing anything there but I saw peas, beans, corn, tomatoes and peppers all growing at that end of the garden so we will see. Also, in the picture I took of Bradie in his garden you will notice he is smoking a cigarette. I told him I understood that it was possible to pass on tobacco mosaic virus from cigarettes to tomato and pepper plants. He had never heard of that before so we are going to check in to it some more.
Well that’s all for now. I have to check my cabbage and broccoli for those nasty cabbage worms and then go check some other gardens before working in my own this evening. Do you think God invented winter so gardeners would get a break?