Eliot here from the Appalachian South Folklife Center “GASP” in Pipestem, WV. Last week felt like spring! We had our first informational meeting and met a handful of new interested families and started doing site visits.

Our bodies are sore from shoveling out a variety of manures – chicken, pig (so smelly), and on to cow next week- All very aged (and organic) from one of our participant families homestead.

The same family has an old greenhouse in disrepair. We didn’t have the time or the knowledge to fix the holes this spring – It’s a glass greenhouse- with a lot of broken glass-  so we ended up raising small hoops inside the house as an extra barrier from the cold.  We used 9 gauge wire to make the hoops and at night regular plastic is thrown over the hoops. The method is working well and we have decided to use it to start our programs starts.

Our little plant starts started growing their true leaves- We’ve got cabbages, broccoli, collards, onions – red storage and white, a few varieties of leeks, and a bunch of herbs. (Though something is eating  sage – the whole top clear off).

We could run into some problems if our starts were to get too big for their low hoops but I am hoping to have things get planted out accordingly. I think that the greenhouse keeps a frost out on its own but it sure does get cold in there.


Some areas have dried enough to till

Another one of our participants is currently studying plant medicine and this year wants to turn her front yard into a garden. It has been cool to learn more about the medicinal properties of tons of yard plants, weeds and produce. We have started digging a little bit and made a plan for water catchment (it’s a really wet yard) but haven’t gotten to till yet.

We had our first basic gardening workshop for people that were ready- We will have to have another so the rest of our participants can make it. But we had a lot of fun, told lots of growing stories, passed out seeds and WVU Extension service calendars.


Every garden should have a compost.

Well, this weekend its supposed to get below freezing and apparently snow!!
Can’t wait til this cold weather is over!