The past month has been a whirlwind of frosts, end-of-season gatherings, story-sharing, learning a lot, and preparing for next year. The Hindman Settlement School is enjoying our cozy offices after a recent move down the road from our old and lovely (but not winterized) cabin offices that we’ve inhabited for years. We are loving the ability to welcome Grow Appalachia participants and others into a comfortable and clean space!
As far as our “outdoor office” goes, things are getting chillier! We’ve wrapped up a few of our fall crops with a row cover/ low tunnel setup, and have set up a little informal experiment for ourselves: half of our peas and cabbages now have a few extra degrees of protection as temperatures get lower and lower, while we’re watching the rest of the plants to see how they hold up without cover. We’re harvesting beautiful mustard greens, have some small turnips, are eating delicious and tender broccoli, and a delightfully sweet crop of peas is maturing.
We’re putting other gardens to bed for the winter, and were thrilled to receive a sizable donation of manure from local Camp Nathanael (there’s nothing like fresh composting manure to brighten your week!). This will hopefully do a good job of breaking down over the winter to provide some fantastic soil for next year’s gardeners!
And while it may have been jumping the gun, a few weeks ago we hosted a fun end-of-season celebration, combining music and a meal and meeting, and felt blessed to have 50 friendly faces join us for the evening. Everyone in the room took their turn sharing insights from their growing season, as well as feedback for us about what we could do better with the program. We’ll be taking that into consideration as we ramp up for the springtime! One grower, James Holliday, shared some impressive photos of his crops – 13 inch sweet potatoes and some big beans that are keeping his family fed this fall. Beautiful, right?
Wishing you a happy fall!
– Jacob and the Hindman Settlement School crew