drowning tomatoes


It has been an interesting month, to say the least. Like everyone else, we were deluged with rain and could hardly get to the crops for all the mud and weeds. We’re grateful we did not get the floods that eastern Kentucky did and have been thinking of those still suffering from the disaster.

Our first harvest was an abundance of kale, beets, and cabbage. Next were the potatoes, onions, and broccoli and the tomatoes are now producing. Dan and Phillip tilled the field again and we have planted peppers, beans, squash, and cucumbers. Dan tilled up the GA “annex”, since we ran out of room at the church site and the new field is fully planted and awaiting late summer and fall harvesting. Martin, our garden assistant, has worked diligently on planting and weed control. Here he is working with the tomatoes:

Martin with Tomatoes

and here are the first bushels picked.

GA Harvest

The Migrant Head Start children’s garden is thriving and the kids were so excited to pick their first crop of radishes. They have planted beans, peppers, tomatoes, and tatume squash. The squash is a popular one in Mexico and will be a hit with their families.  We conducted an informational class for the MHS parents and they were glad to hear about Grow Appalachia and the accomplishments of their young children.

The Salvation Army youth group has also been busy, under the tutelage of ECOS parishioners Ollie and Janie Jordan.  The raised beds there hold tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, squash, and potatoes and they should start harvesting soon. The kids have learned the joys of weeding and saw how it creeps up on you, especially when they were gone a week to camp.


Japanese beetles have invaded and we’re strategizing how to get rid of them.  Here’s a  helpful link for more information and tips:


Any good suggestions out there?

Otherwise, all our volunteers and gardeners are working hard and looking forward to more harvesting in August. So far we have distributed food to the following food banks in Madison County:  Salvation Army, St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Berea, Grace Now, as well as Hope’s Wings domestic violence shelter. As we fight the heat, weeds, mosquitos, and sore muscles it’s good to remember the folks who benefit from our labor.