The following blog post was written by Andrew, one of our two Grow Appalachia summer assistants. Andrew has been working with us for about 2 ½ weeks now, and has been a great help. Since he’s been with us Andrew has learned how to stake, sucker, and prune tomatoes, trellis beans, harvest zucchini, use a hoe correctly, and identify many vegetables from the surrounding weeds! This past week Andrew and our other assistant helped us by cutting down bamboo and using it to trellis the beans in our community garden, the following is his explanation of this task.
     My name is Andrew Whitehead. I have been working with Grow Appalachia at Pine Mountain Settlement School for the summer. I’m 14 years old. I have been working in gardens for a while now and it has been a great experience for me. We’ve been to a lot of gardens and I have learned many different ways to do things like staking tomatoes and different ways of staking beans.  
Andrew in his family’s garden
One of the ways that we have staked beans is with bamboo that grows on the campus of Pine Mountain Settlement School. You would go in the bamboo with a hand saw and cut it down real close to the bottom, then you would drag the bamboo poles that you have got cut down out to an open area. Some of the bamboo poles are long, and you can get two sometimes three bamboo stakes out of 1 pole. You would hold it across something and hold it while another person cuts the stakes. After you have the stakes cut you would have to cut the leaves and branches off, you would use some clippers for that. Then after you have all of that done you make a pile of the bamboo and use it when it is needed. You can also use bamboo for other things in your garden like tomatoes, you would cut them shorter than the ones for the beans. You would also string them different so that the beans could just grow up the string and for the tomatoes you would just make them to where they would not fall on the ground.

Pine Mountain Community Garden bean trellis
 I have also learned while working with grow Appalachia how to spray your garden for diseases and other things like that. You can use different kinds of string in gardens also for beans, tomatoes, and other things you can string up as well. Here are some kinds of string you can use to tie up beans and things with, rope like string, plastic string; you can also use fencing wire like electric wire. Some other things that you string up would be like peas. You can also use fencing post for staking tomato/beans, you can use about any small tree out of the woods, you can also use extra sawed up  pieces of lumber from a sawmill. Some different ways to string up tomatoes and beans would be using a trellis that can be used for both beans and tomatoes you can use cages for tomatoes. And for beans you can make a teepee and then run strings. You may also just let your beans climb right up your corn; you would plant it with your corn. I am looking forward to harvesting time and planting the cover crops.
Another way to stake beans – let them climb right up the bamboo
We are excited to have Andrew working with us this summer, he is really doing a great job and keeps us quite entertained on these long hot days!