By Jessica and Christina

Our farm work program is in full swing! Stipend participants have been hard at work in prepping for the upcoming year. Didn’t take long to find our flow after the much-needed winter break.

We are excited about all of the new, strong and amazing survivors we will have the opportunity to connect with in the garden this season. We’ve been sorting seeds collected in the fall, seeding trays of transplants for the greenhouse, laying irrigation lines and planting our first crops of the year in the high tunnel.

We’ve also reflected on all the new life that we will meet and grow with and learn from in our garden this year: our families, our community partners, our plants, and our worms! 🙂

“I can say that since I have been doing the work, it helps me cope with my anxiety and gain focus in my life. I feel like I am doing something important. ~Stipend Partipant”

Talk about motivation! Words like these keep us moving forward each and every day. And we have so much other news to share with you:

We launched registration for this year’s Flower CSA on National CSA Sign Up Day last Friday, and already have a few new members registered! We’re adding csa pick up site partners and working through details for a possible “tie-bundled” share. On the day we opened registrations, our first beautiful bloom appeared. It was a sign of good things to come!

While we are still harvesting spinach and kale out of the high tunnels, and will plant head lettuce transplants next week, we were so excited to see our first seedlings of 2016 germinating in the high tunnel over the last few days.

We have begun an exciting new project this year: dahlia and scented geranium propagation with our homemade hydroponic system. We are sprouting dahlia tubers saved from last year’s crop and rooting cuttings of them to be planted out early in the high tunnel. This gives us a jump on pur lovely dahlia blooms, and it saves lots of money on tubers and scented geranium plugs by propagating our own seed stock! Hoping we can get our lavender to root in this system, and then we will be rockin! It is working so well so far that we are building another next week to root even more plants!

We’re all hoping for more Mother’s day blooms than ever before, including high tunnel sunflower trial and extended sweet pea harvest.

Last but not least, we’re excited to install a cool-bot in our broken down walk-in with help of Grow Appalachia community partner, Wayne Riley. Thanks Wayne!!!

Here we go! This season’s going to be fantastic! Can’t wait to read all about the adventures of other partner agencies. Happy farming, our friends!