Finally some sunshine and warm temperatures! The garden here at ASPI is taking off, with lots of blooms and fruit ripening. Our peas are very close to being able to eat, as well as the Fava beans that Saxon planted this year. We have had a good amount of greens that have been supplying great salad and cooking greens. In the potato beds we have mounded up the soil around the base of the plants to provide lots of space for the growing potatoes and to allow loose soil for optimum growth. Our only pest problems have been with potato bugs and cut worms, but we have managed to pick off most of the potato bugs and combat the cut worms with small collars around the base of the corn plants that the cutworms have been munching on. The collar acts as a barrier to the cutworm; it is buried about a half inch into the soil and sticks out of the ground a half inch with the plant in the center. Also, we have peppers, flowers, herbs and tomatoes in the high tunnel!
Last week was the canning and food preservation workshop, with Hazel Jackson of the Rockcastle County Extension Office speaking for us. The workshop was great fun and informative for both beginning and experienced canners. After the presentation was finished, Saxon and I passed out summer plants such as tomatoes, herbs, squash, and watermelon to all the home gardening participants.
Now that the weather has allowed for the soil to warm and the sun is shining, Saxon and I have been going to visit all our home gardeners to see what they have growing. The home visits are becoming something I look forward to every week, because I always leave feeling as though I have learned something valuable. Each person has a story and a tip that inspires me to keep learning about all the tricks to having a successful garden.