Greetings from Abingdon VA!  Deni here, reporting in on all the great seed starting that’s been happening around and all the great volunteers we’ve had helping us out.

First, I want to thank the students at Abingdon High School Special Education Class for their weekly visits to the Virginia Highlands Community College greenhouse.  Each week these kids show up to do whatever needs to be done.  This week, we seeded flats of peppers and tomatoes.  David watered flats of lettuce, broccoli and cabbage that they seeded weeks before, and helped to sweep the floor.  Megan learned to fill peat pots expertly and then made sure there were two pea seeds in every pot.  While this sounds easy, it can be rather challenging for some!  The peat pot peas will be planted in their school garden in hopes of having sugar snaps before the end of school.  Billy was in charge of inventory.  Loving to count things, Billy keeps us alerted to how many flats of each variety we have.  Its great working with special needs kids; but can be challenging too.  It takes incredible patience and willingness to let mistakes happen.  Luckily, my kids don’t make many and those they do they all work together to remedy.  It’s a great team and I hope to keep you posted as to what they’re up to each week.  I will tell you a GREAT April Fools joke that their teacher played on them; she opened little bags of skittles for each of them and replaced the skittles with beads and a piece of string; then resealed the bags with glue…  🙂  I wish I could have been there to see them open those!

AHS Special Ed work horses

Next, I’d like to send out a big thank you to the 3rd grade at Haynesfield elementary school for helping to plant 12 flats of lettuce for our 40 participating gardens this year.  Many hands make work go quickly!

Haynesfield 3rd grade

Next, I’d like to thank the local scout troop that volunteered to plant spinach and broccoli in our hoop house at EFIA.  It was great watching them use rulers to measure out where to place the next plant:


Next, I want to welcome the kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Bristol into our Grow Your Own family!  This week, from help from a local church, they built 7 raised bed boxes and are excited to grow potatoes, peas, and mixed greens this spring…

Kids at Boys & Girls Club seeding peas


And Lastly, I want to welcome Heather Jeffreys back to EFiA garden.  Heather started the demonstration garden 3 years ago while she was an AmeriCorps VISTA.  She promises to help blog this year, so you’ll hear from her directly.  Yesterday, we plotted out the garden so others can see what we mean by saying “get out a tape measure and string off your garden plots”… then we planted spinach…

First spinach planting at EFiA


Thanks to all who helped to seed and plant!  Welcome SPRING!