Hello everyone. My name is Alex Sanders and I am the Grow Appalachia Site Supervisor at Project Worth Outreach in Menifee County, Kentucky. Project Worth Outreach is located in beautiful rural northeastern Kentucky.
I hope everyone managed to deal with the severe weather that we have experienced over the last two weeks. On one of my gardener recruiting visits I was told it is hard to think about gardening with all the snow on the ground. I told her that we think about gardening year round and that I had another gardener inform me that snow was great for gardening because it melts slowly but these low temperatures were not good for anything or anyone except the people who sell you heat. I guess it all depends on how you look at things because there are positives and negatives to everything.
I am pleased to say that I enjoyed the All Hands on Deck meeting held at Berea College on February 5-6. The meeting included a lot of useful information as well as an opportunity to meet lots of new people and renew many acquaintances made at prior gatherings. Lots of ideas and information were exchanged at this meeting.
The staff at Project Worth Outreach is very excited to be entering our fourth year as a partner with Grow Appalachia Gardening. We believe that this program has been very successful for the residents of Menifee County and the surrounding region. Over the previous three years many people have experienced a new way of gardening. Many of our gardeners have been gardening many years in the traditional way of gardening and were successful. Many of our gardeners had to be convinced, reluctantly, to give organic gardening a try. After hearing the many advantages of the organic way of gardening, trying the organic fertilizer, organic bug spray and organic weed killer many people were starting to believe in organic gardening. The participant’s meetings we hold are very important in winning people over to the advantages of organic gardening. The lessons provided on garden planning, garden planting, garden maintenance, disease control, organic remedies, heart-healthy cooking, marketing strategies, heirloom seeds, food preservation, fall gardening and off season preparation are very useful to our gardeners. We also encourage an open discussion at all of our participant’s meetings and encourage everyone to participate in the discussion. These discussions are usually loud and chaotic but they are also entertaining. In addition to the things I have already listed above about convincing traditional gardeners to give organic gardening a try I believe the look and taste of their organic produce has the greatest impact in convincing our gardeners it is possible to affordable, safe healthy food in their gardens. Many of our gardeners have become organic gardeners and they have become great organic garden recruiters for Project Worth Outreach and Grow Appalachia Gardening.
I hope that everyone has warmer days ahead and we all can get off to a good start this year. Stay safe and warm.