Hello everyone. My name is Gail Mills.   I am the Founder and Director of Project Worth Outreach, located in Menifee County, Ky. in beautiful northeastern Kentucky.   Project Worth Outreach is entering it’s 24th year of service to the region and hope to continue for many more years. We offer Family Education, Family Services, Clothing Bank Food Pantry, Grow Appalachia Gardening and many other services.   I am the ProjectCoordinator for Project Worth Outreach/Grow Appalachia Garden Program.

While sitting in the dark during a power outage, I had plenty of time to think about the upcoming gardening season.   Spring is just around the corner. I promise.    Many of us can’t wait to get started in our garden.     Planning a garden is always a fun time of the year.   A garden can be well planned with each item in the right place.  It can be planted with no particular plan in mind.   Myself, I like to plan my garden so that I have vegetables coming on about every two weeks.   This way you aren’t over run with more produce than you can handle.   I like to involve as many people in gardening as possible.   When my son was still living at home, he hated gardening.   The reason being that he had to chop weeds and get the potato and bean bugs off the plants.   Somewhere over the years he learned a lot about gardening.   Now he is teaching his three sons the value of gardening ,of course, like him it will take a few years for them to learn the lesson he learned.   If you don’t work, you don’t eat.   The weather has put us behind but a few good warm sunny days will get us back on track. It seems to have been a long, hard winter.   The cold and frozen ground can be beneficial to gardeners.   It helps kill unwanted bugs and also helps the soil.   I remember my grandfather saying if we had a long cold winter we would more than likely be in for a long hot summer.   Who knows, seasons have changed in the past few years.   We need to make sure the soil is dry enough before tilling the soil.   Seed catalogs have been arriving for several weeks.   Winter evenings are spent planning what seeds you need to purchase.   Our first order of business after ordering and receiving our seeds is to get the seeds started in our greenhouses.   There’s something about new plants bursting out of the soil that makes a body want to get going and plant the other wonderful garden items like beans, corn and tomatoes in their garden.   Gardens are grown for many different reasons. Mostly for the food that feeds the family but sometimes you find a person that grows a garden for the pure satisfaction of having a miracle happen. Planting a small seed that turns into a large plant that bears food and is given to neighbors and friends or sold locally.   Either way, the love of gardening and the feeling of accomplishment is a feeling worth all the effort a persons puts into their garden.   With organic garden, make sure you follow directions carefully.   The organic materials are somewhat different than other garden materials that you might be accustomed to. You won’t go wrong if you follow the directions listed on the organic gardening packages.   So wait for the warm days of spring then go at full speed.   Remember, you only get out of something, what you put in.

 Working with the Grow Appalachia Garden Program has given me the opportunity to meet people in Menifee County that I hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting before.   Organic gardening is a wonderful way to grow healthy food while getting needed exercise.   Organic gardening is a giant step toward becoming and staying healthy.   Good food, good friends, good exercise, new programs for youth and training first time gardeners are some of the endless benefits of organic gardening.   Without even realizing it, many older gardeners are already using some organic methods in their gardens.   They use barnyard materials for fertilizer and homemade materials to get rid of bugs and pests.    Now, years later, we are joining our idea with theirs and this creates a healthy, tasty and affordable food source.   This also make a great gardening relationship. So happy gardening.