Season Extension – just in time for first snow!

We had our first snow fall Halloween night!  Tooooooooo early!  Parts of our county had an inch, some 6 inches.  It was beautiful to see that white fluffy stuff, but not expecting it this early in the season.  Hmmm I wonder what winter will really be like????   Just before this storm came and visited Greeneville, TN, we made sure to get three of our home gardeners’ raised beds ready for season extension.  Hi everyone, Debbie here, and we have been busy making sure the raised beds are prepared for winter production.  A few of our teens have decided to continue raising food throughout this winter.  To help them along, we built hoops across their beds and covered the beds with winter cover, that should protect their plants down to about 20 degrees.  We are all about encouraging families to grow all year round, to ensure fresh (free) food for their families to eat.  No, it won’t be mounds of food coming out of these 4X8 beds, but it will ensure some nice fresh food to add to their meals at dinner time.  A little bit here can go a long way in the lives of those who appreciate and need the extra food.

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We have been having some fun, since it is a fun time of year – fall harvests!  A group of teens played some corn hole toss at our Farmers Market with the vendors.  We had a good time talking the talk, but we sure did not walk the walk, the vendors beat us by 6 points!  We had a fun time, and also made fresh carmel apples for the patrons.  A few teens painted pumpkins and entered them in the pumpkin painting contest.  We had a fun morning playing around and celebrating the harvest and last market for the season!

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I am hoping the weather will hold off a bit for me to wrap up activities and classes with all my teen groups this fall.  We have a few more big items on our agenda for the year, before we can be off during December.  We will be preparing a float for our annual Christmas Parade on December 7, a Thanksgiving meal November 22 for our low-income retired housing community, working on an automatic watering system for our rabbitry, finishing up an evaluation of the teen program by our current and past participants, and our annual Teen Promotion Dinner December 11.   A busy month and half ahead!  If the weather behaves, we will not have to cancel any more activities, and can stay ontop of what we need to get done.  Well, I had better run and get working on this list, until next time:  stay warm, dry, and enjoy the beauty of the appalachias!

About the Author:

I am from a farming community in Indiana where my family farmed over 200 acres. As a teen, my family moved to Florida where I became heavily involved in 4-H and developed a love for service and passing knowledge onto others. I graduated and began working at the local girls club while attending college for a Business/Administration degree. I realized that teaching youth was my passion and stayed at the girls club for 12 years before moving to East Tennessee. In East Tennessee I was able to reconnect with my farming roots and began a home garden. In growing, I tapped further into my roots and began canning and freezing food for my family. Really enjoying putting to use all the long hours working on the farm in my youth and realizing how important that was for me to learn, I wanted to get back into teaching youth again! Skimming help wanted adds, led me to Rural Resources who was looking for a coordinator to run their Farm and Food Teen Training Program. All my loves in one - youth at-risk, farming, gardening, cooking, and business planning! What a wonderful life to share my passions with others, play on the farm, enjoy local home cooked food, and advance these youth to a better future! Here I have been for 6 beautiful, happy, and productive years!

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