You can almost hear things grow with the weather we’ve been having lately. Frequent showers followed by hot sun are turning things tropical in WV. We have been making our rounds to participating gardens bringing assorted supplies and concoctions. Stakes, cages, twine, sprays, covers…you name it, we’ve got it and we are using it to keep our veggies on the right track. Join us for a virtual tour of some of the gardens on our rounds this week.
First stop, The Good Earth Garden at the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace.
This garden is maintained by volunteers and grows food for local food banks and the free produce table in the town of Hillsboro. It is maintained to keep the heritage feel of this historic site.
Next up, Brook’s Garden of Wonders
Brook is mom to six kids who help her in her garden. We came ready to pull up weeds that have been growing like crazy everywhere else, but found ourselves without much of a job. The 6 inches of old hay she laid down at the beginning of the season did a great job of weed suppression. She had great structures in her garden too–bean poles to support tomatoes, an inventive cucumber trellis, and a cute little bird feeder watching over it all. On her way out to the garden she tells her kids she’s going to watch her favorite tv channel “Birds and Plants.”
Followed by Cheri’s Veggie Patch
Cheri is mom to 4 kids and is the only person I know who can grow a ton of vegetables under the shade of a walnut tree. She is a second year Grow Appalachia participant. Her cabbages are the envy of her neighbors and cucumbers might take over the county if we’re not careful. Her veggies like it so much there, they plant themselves in the spring. Her pumpkin patch and many of her tomatoes are transplanted volunteers. In the photo above she and her daughter are protecting some new kale plants we gave her this week with some new row cover to ward off flea beetles.
Last stop: Marlinton Middle School’s Produce-Palooza
MMS boasts two gardens under the expert care of Liza Dobson, Farm to School AmeriCorps member. The larger of the two got a later start because she had to wait for the janitor/farmer’s tractor to become available and the ground to dry out. She went ahead and started flats of corn while she waited. I never knew you could transplant corn starts, but we did and they are doing great! She also set out giant pumpkin plants from seeds saved over the years by one of our farmers’ market vendors famous for these ridiculously huge squash. We helped her install a drip irrigation system so that watering doesn’t take a vacation even when the students do.
Thanks coming along on the tour!