By Jason Von Kundra of Sprouting Hope in Marion, VA
The warm wet weather of spring has provided a great start for the growing season and we are busy! Over the past month, we have been tilling our gardens, amending our soils, setting up our two new bee hives, harvesting from our hoop houses, and lots of planting!
Our outdoor garden therapy program with mental health support is expanding this year to include both Evergreen and Cornerstone Centers. Evergreen is coming out twice a month for our organic garden methods curriculum, to work in the garden, and share in the harvest. The Cornerstone Center plans to come out nearly every week, significantly more than previous years, for education, working in the garden, and reap the benefits.
Our new Homegrown program kicked up with soil tests, amendments, garden planning classes, and lots of tillage as many of our participants are starting new gardens this year from scratch. With their soil prepared, we are excited to get all the plants in the ground.
At the community garden we have been harvesting a variety of greens, mostly from within our hoop house. The above photo is our bounty we brought to the most recent food pantry. We have planted much of the garden but still prepared for one last frost if it comes but our fingers are crossed.