Yesterday was a beautiful day to be traveling in Kentucky and Tennessee. The sun was shinning and the birds were singing as I visited several of our gardeners. My first stop was at Catherine’s garden, Catherine and her Dad were among the first participants of Grow Appalachia here at Henderson Settlement. As she showed me her garden she talked about the loss of her Dad last year and how this has affected her gardening. Gardening was something they enjoyed doing together, she says,” it just doesn’t feel the same without him.” She has potatoes, corn, onions, and cucumbers planted in her garden.While I was there Catherine told me about an Organic green house she had visited in Maynardville TN , you can see their site on Facebook, it’s Hardin’s Mountain -Organic, she says they are really nice and she found a lot of old varieties of plants there.
My next stop was at Pam and Tim’s garden, Tim is a carpenter and Pam works as a cook for Henderson Settlement. Tim is the gardener of the family or as Pam puts it , ” He does the gardening and I do the cooking and preserving.” One of their goals for this year is to grow enough food to preserve for the winter and still have enough to sell at the Farmers Market.
A little further down the road I visited with Almeda, Almeda’s has recently retired and decided to try her hand at growing a few vegetables in pots and in a small raised bed she already had in her yard. She is very proud of her small garden. Almeda’s sister Mary, is also a participant of Grow Appalachia. She happened to stop by Almeda’s while I was there, “Are you coming to visit my garden?” she asks. So of course I said, ” I’ll be down there in a little while.
Mary’s garden is quite a bit larger than her sisters’, she grows enough food to feed her small family and half the neighborhood. Last year I convinced her to sell some of her vegetables at the Farmers Market, I hope she will be willing to sell her vegetables again this year.
Mary also showed me her one and only Chinese Cabbage plant. First of all, let me tell you, we’ve never grown Chinese cabbage before so we not exactly sure what it’s supposed to look like. One of our gardeners gave me a pack of seeds that said “Chinese Cabbage” and asked if I could get the H.S. greenhouse to start the seeds. So Dulley (H.S. Green house manager) agreed to start the seeds for us. The plants looked wonderful in their little six packs and several of the gardeners wanted to try to grow them. We were all excited , I’ve been looking up recipes and anticipating eating Chinese cabbage in salads. However after Mary showed me her “Plant”, I’m not so sure of what we planted. Does anyone know what Chinese cabbage is supposed to look like? I’ve seen the cabbage in the store but I’ve never seen it growing in a garden.