The last few weeks here at ASPI have been very productive. This past Monday we had our last workshop of the season, which focused on extending the growing season. We invited our participants to come and have conversations with us about the different methods of protecting your fall and winter crops through the use of high tunnels and row covers. Mark Walden of Grow Appalachia was kind enough to spare some of his time to tell us a little bit about the process of applying for the NRCS grant. The National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) works with farmers to fund high tunnels to those who are interested in producing and selling food at markets. The high tunnel offers farmers help by extending their growing season in the fall & winter, as well as providing an early start in the spring to get crops going a little early. We held our discussion in ASPI’s high tunnel, where participants could see an example of what the NRCS would help fund.
For those who were more focused on growing food to eat from home, we discussed row covers as a cheap, easy to construct method of protecting plants from frost to get a few more weeks out of their garden. Our example was a row cover that was constructed out of flexible plastic tubing for the arches, plastic for the row cover, metal pins to hold down the plastic, and metal rebar and/or bamboo stakes to hold the arches in place. Once we had the materials, it took me maybe 15 minutes to measure the spacing (measures 6’x3′ roughly) and put the row cover together. Each of our participant’s that wanted a kit got to take one home to their garden.
Happy Fall gardening everyone!