It’s been a busy several weeks here at ASPI. It’s the time of year when the weather starts to get nice that the situations, where you plan and fret and worry and then feel elated, seem to be in abundance. Since November, we have planned for this month. We started many of the plants for participants, contacted regional colleges about extra help (interns), contacted all the participants about tilling and soil tests, and scheduled several booth displays. In March, it seemed like we wouldn’t be able to tackle all of it because there are so many moving parts, and many things are dependent of community partners. What a tricky dance!
All of the sudden the greenhouse is full of plants, and the community gardens have mulch, compost and top soil. The soil tests are done and the results are back. We have tilled about half of the sites scheduled. We have Samantha Lyons on board from Berea College, and Sarah Green from Centre College will be starting the last week in May. By the way, Centre College has a great internship program, so feel free to ask us about it. We spent the last several weekends traveling around the region with our ASPI and Grow Appalachia displays raising awareness about the program, including Peacemeal Gardens in Lexington, Kiwanas Club in Mt Vernon, some elementary schools in Somerset and Richmond, and the Danville Earth Day Fair.
Oh, and did I mention we finished a few compost tumblers and rain barrels? One of the persistent issues with the community gardens has been the lack of water sources and the fact that the sites were previously buildings and parking lots. Because ASPI is dedicated to demonstrating sustainable practices, we thought the gardens would be a good place to demonstrate how to make compost and rain barrel irrigation systems. And, we could sell some too! So, it’s been a crazy dance to manage all the parts of our program this year, but seeing everything progress makes it all worth it!