At last, we are full swing into Summer and seeing the fruits of our labor these past few months. It seems it’s either too hot, too cold, too wet, or too dry and nothing in between! However, our volunteer Donation Station Garden Stewards and community gardeners have made their first big harvests and are now excited by the flowering buds of summertime crops coming on in a hurry. The Donation Station Garden plots, dedicated to growing produce for our regional food pantries through CFI’s Donation Station program which now reaches five SE Ohio counties, have already contributed over 128 pounds of beets, cabbage and peas. And we’re just getting started.
SE Ohio has the highest food insecurity rates in our state, and as part of the Appalachian region, we’re often neglected when it comes to outside help. That’s why we’ve stopped looking so much outside, and are working now to solve our own problems creatively. We may not be rich, nor well fed, but we have a kind of wealth city slickers yearn for in the form of tight knit community, connection to hands-on know how to grow food, preserve it, and stretch our dollars as we can. We look out for one another and we see the benefit in projects like Grow Appalachia to help us wake up each day feeling inspired that we’re making a difference by ourselves and collectively.
Athens County, Ohio has been learning a lot about food preservation–one water bath canning workshop and a freezing/dehydrating workshop under our belt, and fermentation and pressure canning ahead!