This is Sarah and I’m back for another summer working with ASPI and Grow Appalachia. Last year I was a college intern and now I’m the community garden manager. I had a great time last summer learning about gardening and working with the staff and participants so I’m really excited to be back.

This year we have two families with plots in the community garden, and I’m still hoping to get a couple more. The two families have already planted their plots and they are looking great! We will also be having our high school intern program again with two interns. The high school interns will each have their own plot in the community garden that they are responsible for and they will also have short classes where they learn the basics of gardening and marketing. When the farmers market starts up in July, they will be selling the produce they grow as well as the produce from the ASPI garden. One of my favorite things we did with the interns last summer was to visit other Grow Appalachia sites, and I hope we will get the chance to visit some this year. It was fun working with the interns last summer and they were a big help so I’m looking forward to them starting next week.

Right now there is a lot of work that needs to be done in the garden. We still need to get a lot of the ground tilled up, but most of the raised beds have been planted in the meantime. Another big task I have is to figure out irrigation at the community garden. We have a really awesome solar-powered water pump, but there is not much water to pump. Last year we transported barrels full of water to the garden which was difficult, but hopefully we will figure out a better rain collection system on site.