I have purposely put off writing until all of the meetings/ swap meets/ conferences were finished. We were busy over this way, and we have had a blast!

Our first meeting on garden planning drew almost all of our participants! Chad Conway from the Extension Office gave a wonderful presentation and he even gave out lettuce seeds! It was fun seeing the old pros in the room teaching the new folks about all sorts of different things… Eddie and myself were trying to make as many notes and learn as much as we could! From a work standpoint we also got an idea of the varieties and quantities of what everyone wanted to grow at this meeting. Which would come in handy at the last meeting I will talk about today.

But the next stop was the Growing Appalachia Conference sponsored (in part) by KFTC. Eddie and I were the first or second in the door- why? Well we had no idea where we were going- so we left really early. And, well… we found it- first try!? So, we got to meet and talk with a lot of folks, including Eddie meeting David, and then Lisa Abbot. We wanted to go to all of the break outs, we are both big into sustainable energy, but we tried to stay more on the gardening track on this day. The 1st session was invaluable, and really I wish I could have spent a week with that couple learning more about gardening!!!!

The second session was great as well- I grew up canning but haven’t done any since I was 13 or so. It was a great refresher, but until it comes time to actually do the process I really won’t know how much I learned! I must admit I was slightly distracted by the person in the audience who was obsessed with why the cans wouldn’t explode!

We were really excited to stay for Maggie’s presentation, but during lunch we got word our boss, Alice Whitaker, had congestive heart failure. So, after the lunch panel me and Eddie headed back to Hazard. Alice is ok, but we always worry when she is ill! So, hopefully we can con Maggie into coming down here to Lotts Creek, and after speaking with her yesterday I think it can happen 🙂

Which brings us to the last meet in our world tour- the Seed Swap at the Pine Mountain Settlement School. With our lists in mind of what people wanted to grow we headed down. Unfortunately my GPS gave out about 5 miles from the school. But, we are used to that where we live to, so we trekked on. Once we found the school Eddie, Timmy (a Grow Participant), and I were all amazed by how wonderful and beautiful the campus was. Kudos to all involved.

The seed swap was wonderful as well. I made sure I brought a wad of cash in small bills and our list- and we racked up! Joking aside we met a lot of wonderful folks, and listening to Bill Best and meeting him was a huge highlight. I think now we have all the seeds we need- I just think we need some more starter soil and pots. etc and we are good to go!

Next update I will talk more about our adventures in seed starting- and maybe even talk about “Hercules” the first tomato plant I started from a seed!