Happy August, Lori here from McDowell County, West Virginia. We have been busy as could be since the last blog.

Our last Youth Works group helped out in the gardens at the center. They helped harvest beans and peppers, and they planted some lettuce and squash. They even gave us a donation of jars for canning with, plus a cash donations so we could purchase some fruit for jams, jellies and spreads to can. We spent a week canning more than 400 jars of raspberry jam, strawberry preserves, peach jam and peach butter, and blueberry jam. We also did blackberry jam with blackberries that we have growing around the center. As soon as we posted pictures of some of the stuff we finished, we got requests to send the finished products and a bill. Can you say Fundraiser? I thought you could.

We got two campers donated to us, we are going to turn one into a cold box to keep our harvests cool, and the other will be used for storage.

We have been getting several eggs daily from our chickens, I think we are up to almost 40 chickens now. We had 7 ducks, and someone stole 5 of them. We are now the proud owners of 43 quail. Quail eggs are tiny things. Still no baby goats yet.

At the center we have been picking lots of veggies. We have gotten okra, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans, lettuce, and one head of cabbage that bugs didn’t destroy. As soon as we pick one area, we plant something else. We have had a lot of our heirloom beans grow, and have been drying them so we can share the seeds.

All our participants have been reporting pretty good harvests, only one this time had any issues. The heavy rains knocked down their corn and washed out some of their other plants. They replanted and are trying again. Our folks have a never say die attitude and it’s awesome.

One of our participants is wanting to start a canning co-op. I am very excited about that. We can all work together and share the rewards. We have already spent one day working together on it. Healthy cooking classes will be starting up soon.

We haven’t really had any silliness this time, which is sort of sad. Hopefully that will change before the next blog is due, We really could use a little humor these days.

Until next time, Happy Harvesting!