Happy Spring, friends!

What have we been up to since we wrote last? Well, we’ve been pleasantly surprised (and a little nervous) that we’ve had more interest this year than anticipated! Our workshop gatherings are filling up with more people than we have materials for- which is a great problem to have. We didn’t want to be overly ambitious or expect to serve too many families, but we don’t want to turn folks away who bring great energy to the group and have potential for being market growers and helping drive local food production here in Knott County.

We packed our meeting space at the Settlement School this week to share information on vegetable varieties, debrief last week’s Organic Production techniques workshop, talk about soil samples, and share a few items – including the new Grow Appalachia Mountain Pride fertilizer. Everyone’s soil sample recommendations were adjusted to reflect the 3-4-3 fertilizer we are giving out, and were hoping people like it. I’m sure we’ll share updates as we hear folks’ opinions!

Several of our participants were able to attend a poultry workshop hosted nearby by Kentucky State University two weeks ago, and we’re excited to be planning for a second workshop with KSU to take place here in Hindman, so that more of our families can take part! (Below is a photo of a few of the coops in progress). We’re happy to have more folks raising chickens for eggs for home use and to sell at the markets here! Our farmer’s market advisory committee is planning for another great summer of twice-per-week markets here in the county, starting at the Knott County Fair being revived this July 2nd. Come join us!

Wishing you a happy April full of redbuds, seedlings showing through the dirt, and a few more thunderstorms! Here’s a poem for you that I’ve been enjoying while watching the world turn green again:

Winter, Spring

Winter is black and beige down here
from drought. Suddenly in March
there’s a good rain and in a couple
of weeks we are enveloped in green.
Green everywhere in the mesquites, oaks,
cottonwoods, the bowers of thick
willow bushes the warblers love
for reasons of food or the branches,
the tiny aphids they eat with relish.
Each year it is a surprise
that the world can turn green again.
It is the grandest surprise in life,
the birds coming back from the south to my open
arms, which they fly past, aiming at the feeders.

– by Jim Harrison