Hi All-

Anna Osborne from Alderson Community Food Hub here. I’m delighted to report on some of the garden education programs underway here in Alderson. Thanks to  Grow Appalachia and the cooperative efforts of Hub volunteers, local Master Gardeners, and Alderson Elementary School students and teachers, the raised beds at Alderson Elementary are bustling! Classes have planted  a variety of crops, including asparagus, colllard greens, radishes, and lettuce. Some of the vegetables are on schedule to land in the cafeteria salad bar before the end of the year. Classes will tend to their plots til summer break, at which time student participants in Energy Express (the summer reading program) will take over. Vegetables that aren’t used in the cafeteria over the summer will be sold at the Alderson Community Market by our new school grower’s club: The Alderson Farmers!

Speaking of which, this club, organized by Hub member Jennifer Gilkerson, has been meeting before and after school to plant seeds and care for starts in a green house that’s been moved to the school. The Farmers (all 4th and 5th graders) will begin putting plants in the ground next week at our new school vegetable garden. They just planted a sunflower fence at site, and bean teepee is up and ready, there! The Farmers will continue to meet throughout the summer, harvesting vegetables to sell at market and donate to folks in need in our community.  Thanks to Grow Appalachia for their assistance in getting the vegetable garden plowed.

Bamboo bean teepee construction with farmer Charlie Callison

Bamboo bean teepee construction with farmer Charlie Callison

A final project to report on is the seed library at The Alderson Public Library. Grow Appalachia participants and Alderson Hub members are currently working with the library to develop this program. Soon, patrons will be able to “check out” seeds, as you would a book. They aren’t due back til the seeds have yielded a crop, and you’ve harvested some new seeds to return.

So we have a lot of exciting things going on here, but we are in good company. It’s inspiring to look over all the blog entries and realize how much gardening and learning are happening as an outgrowth of Grow Appalachia. Thanks for reading, and good luck with your respective projects, everyone!