First tomato plants of the season.

First tomato plants of the season.

Greetings, Grow Appalachia! This week I begin my summer as an AmeriCorps and Grow Appalachia member. I am eager to begin working in the community with families and organizations, starting and expanding beautifully lush gardens.

My farming experience began at a young age, planting pea gardens, raising pigs and chickens, also selling goods at the farmers market. However, I did not begin my journey as a professional farmer by any stretch of the imagination. I took an interest in raising animals when I joined 4-H in the third grade. My mother and I decided to start with pigs and we loaded up our minivan and headed out to pick up our first piglet.  The ride back was far from enjoyable, with the smell taking over the car we couldn’t wait to reach fresh air. For years we perfected our farming practices by trial and error. Beginning with pigs in the chicken pen and ending with a fool proof method of pig tractors.

We do not claim to be an organic farm. However, we choose to leave behind the smallest trail and produce the freshest product possible.  Pig and chicken tractors are how we attempt to do that. With our mobile fencing we are able to naturally fertilize large areas of land to start luscious gardens.

I hope to learn more about organic practices by working with the Grow Appalachia team and share some of my own methods as well.

Freshly tilled and ready to be planted!