Temperatures below zero make excellent garden planning days.  Seed catalogs are arriving, and folks keep peeping out the window in search of a robin or a crocus or any sign of spring.  With all the snow and the lip-chapping windchills, it’s hard to believe that it will soon be time to plant peas and potatoes.


Here at the Wise County Extension Office, we’re as thrilled as our clients to be able to get outside and play in the soil.  We look forward to partnering with a number of local entities to build community gardens through the support of Grow Appalachia: the UVA-Wise Environmental Club, Powell Valley Primary School, Camp Bethel, the Town of Pound and the Southwest Virginia Master Gardeners Association.


Although the sites are covered with snow at the moment – and more is in next week’s forecast – we’re planning some soil management educational sessions, so we can teach our growers how to take a meaningful soil sample and then how to interpret the results.


In addition, we’ve been working with our Master Gardeners to develop some gardening related educational workshops for both the community garden growers and the general public.  Through a survey and a committee meeting, topics of interest we’ve identified include backyard berries, tomatoes, vertical trellising, organic pest control and straw bale gardening.


We’re happy to be a part of the Grow Appalachia family, and we look forward to a successful growing season.