Hello.  This Alex Sanders from Project Worth Outreach In Menifee County, Kentucky.  I hope everyone is having a great week and dry enough weather to work in their gardens.  We had a meeting this week and gave away lots of tomato, pepper and cabbage plants grown in our green house.  Our meeting was held on Tuesday, May 21  at 6 PM and we had about 50 people in attendance.  During this meeting we discussed organic bug spray, bee keeping, chicken tractors and took an order for sweet potatoes.  Our main topic of discussion this week was heart healthy cooking and was led by Marsha Morris Sanders, a very dedicated volunteer to Project Worth Outreach and the Grow Appalachia Garden Project.

In our greenhouse we grew approximately 4000 plants.  Most of these plants were several varieties of tomatoes and we distributed approximately 80% of these to our gardeners and hope to distribute the rest in the next few days.  We also grew several varieties of peppers and distributed every single one of them.  We also grew several cabbage plants but they did not do as well as we hoped they would but we did distribute the ones that we had.

During this meeting we took an order for sweet potatoes.  We polled every family represented and they told us how many sweet potato plants they would like to have.  We had orders ranging from 4 to 100.  We expect these to be in the hands of our gardeners during the first week of June. 

The next topic discussed was organic bug spray.  Several gardeners had stated that they had a few bugs and would like to have the bug spray as soon as possible.  I informed them that the bug spray had been ordered and I would get it to them as soon as we received it.

We discussed how many families would be interested in being a part of a chicken tractor project and a bee keeping project.  In response we were informed that 27 families would be interested in the chicken tractor project and 18 families would be interested in the bee keeping program.  I told everyone that I would give them more information on these programs as it becomes available.  I also told them that I would speak with the President of the local bee keeping association about holding a meeting with those interested in bee keeping and explaining what is involved in bee keeping.

Our main topic was heart healthy cooking.  My wife, Marsha Morris Sanders, was the speaker for this presentation as she has become quite familiar with this topic due to my recent health issues.  Each participant was given a packet with information about heart healthy living , as well as, several heart healthy recipes.  We also discussed some other details that I learned from the nutritionist at St. Joseph Hospital.  This involved the proper way to read food labels.  We discussed the number of carbohydrates make a serving (15).  You are allowed 4 carbs per meal (60).  Sodium is a very big problem in choosing healthy foods.  We should have only 2,000 mg of sodium per day.  However, all mass produced foods have very much sodium in them.  In order to avoid this, we need to eat fresh fruits and veggies and rinse any canned vegetables we consume.  Frozen vegetables and fruits are healthier than canned if we aren’t eating out of our yummy gardens.  Another tip is to watch foods that advertise to be low fat.  They may add sugar or sodium to make up the taste lost by taking out fat.  We should eat 300 mg of cholesterol per day.  The bottom line is we need to read labels very carefully and eat as much of our fresh organic foods as possible.  We are on the right track!

Well, that’s about all I have for today.  Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend.  Happy gardening.