By: Kathryn Engle
The Lend-A-Hand Center Grow Appalachia Gardening Program has a lot of exciting programs coming up in 2015. Although the weather has set us back a bit, we will be having our informational meeting March 14th for residents in the Stinking Creek area of the county to find out how they can get involved with the program. We hope to work with about 25 families this year.
We will also be continuing our partnership with Dewitt Elementary School and will be coordinating the Dewitt Community Garden. Last year students at the school got to watch the plants grow, plant their own seeds, and harvest pumpkins for their classrooms in the fall. We will also be continuing partnering with Union College and the Barbourville Community Garden. We will be having an informational meeting about the community garden soon.
We have also been working through the winter on the federal “Local Foods, Local Places” grant that was awarded to the City of Barbourville. This grant will work to improve local food systems in the county and help with the Knox County Farmers’ Market. There will be a community-wide workshop in June to brainstorm ideas about local foods initiatives in the county.
We have also been working on getting several interns to work with the program this growing season. Students from UK, EKU, and Union College have expressed interest in the program and we are excited to get young people involved with these programs.
The Knox County Farmers’ Market is also getting off the ground again with a kick-off in April for the Red Bud Festival and official opening later in May. Here are the announcements for upcoming meetings in the county:
General County Ag Meeting
Tues, March 17, 6:00pm Knox Co Ext
The Knox County Cooperative Extension Service in conjunction with the Lend-A-Hand Center Grow Appalachia Gardening Program will be hosting a general meeting for gardeners and farmers. We encourage farmers’ market vendors as well as experienced farmers and new gardeners to attend this meeting where we will discuss garden planning, soil samples, conventional and organic production, planting for market, and crop diversification.
KCFM Vendor Meeting
Thurs, March 19, 5:00pm Knox Co Ext
All farmers, vendors, and crafters wanting to participate in the Knox County Farmers’ Market should attend the Farmers’ Market Vendor Meeting. At this meeting we will be discussing the market schedule, vendor agreements, vendor fees, how to accept SNAP (food stamps) with a presentation from Sharon Spencer from the KY Department of Agriculture, navigating certifications, market rules, and ideas for the year.
It seems we’ve hit the ground running this growing season!