Hi…this is Jane. I am back from the prairies of Illinois. I have been a volunteer at Red Bird Mission for 15 years and this is the 3rd year I have worked on the Grow Appalachia program. I have been here for one week and what a week it has been. During the winter months, Justin rebuilt a greenhouse that the wind destroyed last year. He had already planted tomatoes, peppers and squash in little starter pots. Thanks to my outstanding watering skills 🙂 they are coming up. I worked in the greenhouse during high winds and it seems very sturdy.

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We went out to a participant’s garden and while Justin used the tiller, I took pictures of the garden and of a flock of chickens. The rooster was quite a showoff!!

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Now…I know you have been waiting for a report on my ASPARAGUS!!! I was disappointed to see that only 2 spears had shown up when I got here last week. BUT… as of today, there are 5 sprouts up. Still hoping for a better showing. The shredded paper mulch has done a great job of keeping weeds down. Justin and I went to the Extension office in Manchester and I bought 20 more asparagus crowns. OH There’s more…. We (mostly Justin) built a fence around the asparagus patch. We re-used materials from previous years so we were able to build the whole thing without buying anything new! I was dreading trying to get 20 more crowns in the ground. The soil is so rocky, I was not able to make a proper trench for the asparagus I planted in spring of 2014. But, we went to the farm store in London and Justin got a mattox. I tried it out and it should make a good trench.

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Justin had tilled up a new garden space on campus and also 2 new plots along the path toward Red Bird Christian School. The one on campus has some really nice looking peas. He put up welded wire for the peas to grow onto.

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The 2 plots toward the school are in sandy bottom land soil. That will be a great place to plant melons and squash next month when we can start putting in the warm season vegetables. The snow that was forecast for last Saturday did not happen so we may go ahead and plant corn. I look forward to seeing all the participants during the next weeks of my visit. I see a lot of gardens either started or waiting for warmer weather.
Happy Gardening….and enjoy the Redbud blossoms. Hope you find some Hickory Chickens (morels). Jane