This has become a theme over the past couple of years here with our Grow Appalachia program…RAIN! RAIN! and more RAIN! I recently read a weather blog that says out of the last 26 days, we’ve had rain on 22 of them. Twenty two days of rain, when we could’ve been out in the garden tilling, planting, hoeing, and most of all growing! Flash flooding has again this year taken out a few of our gardens. Luckily this year it was just the early crops. Hopefully we’re through that and won’t have another flood this year. One gardener told me he had the prettiest cabbage that were just about ready for harvest and the flood took it out.
With the gloom and doom portion of the blog out of the way, let me turn my writings to something more positive. We recently had our planting your garden meeting. It was a great success. Dr. David Williams is the new director at RCARS. At the meeting he talked about the soil test results for the gardens. Jim Marshall, our field staff, had a demonstration garden planted with proper plant spacing. Jim gave participants a tour of the demo garden, answered questions, demonstrated a way of weave tying tomatoes and a pyramid style of sticking beans. We did have to rush the tour because…you guessed it…it was about to rain!
Tomato, pepper, cucumber, and other plants were grown at the greenhouse on the RCARS campus. Participants picked them up last Tuesday and those who weren’t able to make the pickup are making arrangements to pick up their plants or have them delivered.
This year, we’ve started a Facebook page just for our group! It has worked great! Participants are posting their pictures of their gardens, asking questions, and helping one another out with any issues that may have come up. It also lets us as administrators get information out quickly to those who are in the group. It is by far one of the best things we’ve done in the program!