Gardening in Breathitt County has been a tough task this year. Over the years we’ve grown accustomed to the dry weather, heat, and humidity but this year has been totally different. Rains and floods have washed many of our Grow Appalachia gardens away. The vegetables that many worked so hard on have been destroyed and washed down stream. It’s really sad to talk to the folks that lost their gardens and hear the story about how pretty their tomatoes were before the flood got them. Or what a nice bean patch they had before the waters flooded them. It’s been hard to hear these sad stories.
However, for those that were fortunate enough to save their gardens or have them in a place that water didn’t get them, they harvest has been plenty. Martha Yount the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent here in Breathitt County has been hosting demonstrations for the participants of the program. One night she taught on waterbath canning and freezing foods. The next night she taught on pressure canning and dehydrator usage. Many participants said they have canned before but the course was a great refresher course and a great course to let them know what they have been doing wrong.
Fall plants have been given out to the families that wanted them. We had approximately 15 families take fall plants. In conjunction with RCARS, we grew lettuce, cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, and a few other plants for fall gardening. Most people here don’t garden in the fall due to lack of available plants for fall crops. Many specialists at UK say that many of the cole crops do better in the fall. Disease and insect pressure isn’t as bad in the late fall for these crops as opposed to if they were planted in early spring.