Since the last blog, we have been keeping very busy organizing all the moving parts that is High Rocks Grow Appalachia –from ordering seeds/plants, actually seeding and planting, tilling, and amending—our season is in full swing.  Truck beds full of manure and compost have been tilled under and beds have been seeded or planted. We also started hundreds of tomatoes and peppers in our little hoop house for our participants and also to sell. All of these things require some organizing and clear communication which isn’t always easy, but we are making progress!

This week was a fun week because it was full of connection and conversations with our Grow Appalachia participants.  On Thursday, we had our Garden Planting Workshop.  We weren’t able to accommodate everyone’s schedule, but we had a good number of participants. For the past couple years, we’ve tried to be more flexible with our workshop dates by hosting at least 2 chances per workshop. The High Rocks gardens and weekly scheduled garden days serve as opportunities to host workshops more than once. This workshop we covered soil temperature, seeds, transplanting, and planting for efficiency.  Many people had questions about specific varieties, elevation and crop planting, and also soil questions.  Even though we don’t always know all the answers, with a little a bit of research, we are able to get back to our participants with information.  Part of our workshop involved planting and seeding in the garden.  We seeded peas, spinach, carrots and planted onions in 500 square feet of the High Rocks garden. The time in the garden with out participants was really amazing—there is so much space for learning  in the garden with a group of people.  It seems to really bring out conversations, friendliness, humility, and cooperation. Several of our participants even stayed after the workshop to continue helping us garden–how great!
On Saturday we caught up with some of our Grow Appalachia participants at The Wild Edibles Festival held in Hillsboro, WV.  We learned about Reishi Mushrooms and Fermenting for Health.  Not to mention all the lovely local vendors with maple cream & syrup, herbal teas, smoked trout, sausage, eggs, and more!
On Sunday we received our chicken fertilizer from Wayne via Highland Education Project!! Many of our participants showed up and helped unload all three tons, I was quite impressed and grateful.  Thank you so much Lori and everyone at the Highland Education Project and Wayne for making this happen.