Last night Grow Appalachia held its last training workshop for the season. The workshop topic was  Off Season Preparation and our speaker for that subject was Jeff Casada of the Clay County Cooperative Extension Office. Jeff taught the group the importance of garden care in the off season.


Jeff Casada Clay County Extension Agent


Simple practices such as, cover crops, compost and crop rotation can have a huge impact on the soil quality for the next growing season and increase the overall yield of your gardens.It will help restore nutrients and other necessary essentials that are lost during the spring and summer growing season, as well as valuable nutrients that are washed away with the top soil during the rainy season.




We also had Melinda Alcorn, who is the Kentucky Safe Foods Project Coordinator as a guest speaker. Melinda did a presentation on the dangers of BPA “Bisphenol-A” in foods.  BPA, or Bisphenol-A is a chemical used as a lining in metal food containers that leaches into the food product. It has also been used in plastics such as poly carbonate water bottles, sippy cups and baby bottles. The chemical has been linked to increased rates of cancer, reproductive disorders, developmental disabilities, diabetes, heart disease and many other health problems. Melinda stated ” other than growing organically and preserving your home grown meats and vegetables in glass jars it is nearly impossible to completely eliminate the exposure to this chemical.It is nearly impossible to completely eliminate exposure from you lives but there is a lot we can do to limit our contact.  From canned goods on the grocery store shelf to our drinks that are bottled in #3 and #7 plastics, BPA can be found in nearly every product you purchase.  If you are forced by circumstances to use these products it is best to cook them in glass or stainless steel container instead of plastic bowls. There is still a substantial risk of exposure; however, the container used to heat the product will reduce the risks.

Our Participants all left with a new found appreciation for organic food production and food self-sufficiency concepts that Grow
Appalachia guidelines adheres to.

In closing, all participants were entered in our drawing for door prizes and given cover crop seed to plant for their winter garden preservation projects.  They were also given packets of other seeds, such as tomato, broccoli, cucumber, etc. so they could start their spring plants indoors early.  We were very pleased with the turnout for last night’s final meeting and are anxiously waiting spring when we can start the process all over again for what we hope is a prosperous and productive growing season.   We at Red Bird Mission want to once again that each and every one that worked to make this a great year

. . Again our participants left with new found knowledge and a smile.