Maria here in Williamson! It is hard to believe that it is memorial day weekend already. So much has already happened this year to be excited about and it is so hard to summarize it all. So in order to do so, I will list a few milestones and ideas worth sharing.
Workshops- So far we have had several of our garden workshops including Heart Healthy cooking, the Seed Swap, the processing class, garden maintenance and site/plot planning. This year we have 19 community garden plot owners in addition to our group of Growing Warriors veterans. Lonnie Bonnie, a veteran and long time farmer had led short 1 on 1 sessions with each of our plot owners to help them figure out the best way to utilize space. This is extremely important, since most the space at the garden is very limited and its valuable for our gardeners to know how to best utilize space.
Additionally last week we hosted our annual living water workshop at the local daycare. This is the third year that we have helped plant with the kids, some of which have been with us each year for the last three years. It is always a pleasure.
Veteran improvements- This year we are yet again working with the Growing Warriors program, helping our veteran growers by providing stipends and equipment. There are several sites that the veterans are working on. Below are some photos of a container gardening workshop that they had. The lesson included straw bail gardening Since the soil is so bad on some of the mine sites that they are working on, this is a great alternative.
Finally, our market has now been open for several weeks, and has already exceeded the size of last year’s peak season market. There are several Grow Appalachia Growers selling, and there is more a variety of items being offered. Two ideas that I wanted to share are Kids Fear Factor and of course of market shirts. Shirts are a great way to generate revenue. We paid $6 for ours and sell them for $12. They also make great prizes.
Last week we had a “Kids Food Fear Factor” and had kids 12 and under try different fruits and vegetables, and several other healthy items including hummus and snap pea crisps. It was wildly successful.
looking forward to our preservation classes coming up, as well as some additional exciting farmers market events!