Can the summer season really be almost over? Time sure flies when you’re having fun on the farm! In a few weeks, we’ll be wrapping up our summer Farm and Food Teen Training programing and easing back into our “fall” schedule here at Rural Resources’ Holly Creek Farm, as the teens start back to school.
Miss Debbie and Miss Taylor are as busy as ever, packing as much into the rest of the season as they can, including planning for the county fair. The youth will staff our booth, distribute promotional materials to fair goers, take part in food preparation demonstrations and give out samples of fresh produce from the farm. I’ve also heard rumors of a chicken suit, so check back next month for pictures of our mascot!
We enjoyed a visit from Candace of Grow Appalachia this month. She toured the farm and some home gardens, and visited some of the youth while they prepared food at a local soup kitchen with Chef Mary. I also got to visit them while they were working at the soup kitchen and was very impressed! They cooked and cleaned like pros, but the camaraderie is what really stood out. They’ve definitely been learning teamwork as well as culinary skills.
Some of the youth had a guys vs. girls berry muffin contest with Miss Kitty at the Greene County Extension office. Alas, I was not able to lend my tasting skills to judging that one, but if aroma is any indication, it was tasty tie!
The month also included a class on making lip balm and a food demo with Chef Mary at the farmer’s market for making breakfast burritos, a food demo with Miss Debbie for salsas (blueberry salsa, blackberry salsa and an “improv” peach-blueberry salsa. … Is anyone else’s mouth watering? I’ve got to figure out how to get on food demo duty!), and a berry smoothie demo for Rooted in Appalachia’s berry month theme.
Joel Hausser, a Rural Resources board member, stopped by to see what the teens were cooking up with Miss Debbie in the First Presbyterian Church kitchen. It was pickled beets, made with beautiful, fresh beets from the teen garden!
Joel couldn’t hang around to sample them, but we all enjoyed his visit. He surprised Miss Debbie and the teens again while they were making fresh garden wraps with veggies harvested from the teen garden. We give Joel two thumbs up for making time to interact with our youth and get a firsthand look at our programming!
And speaking of veggies, the teen garden has been producing abundantly, thanks to Miss Taylor, the teens and some faithful volunteers. The tomatoes are just starting to come in, but we’ve been harvesting onions, cilantro, dill, beets, cabbage, Swiss chard and carrots in abundance!
There’s one last bit of v-e-r-y exciting news here on the farm: Grading has begun on our building site! WooHoo!!! Having a building will not only make us much more comfortable, it will allow us to increase the number of youth we serve and expand our programming. And we are all very excited about indoor plumbing! Don’t get me wrong, the outhouse had its own peculiar charm, but, well … have you ever had to use an outhouse in the winter?
I think that about wraps it for July! Thanks for stopping by and check back next month for more fun, learning and photos!
- Lorelei Goff
Program Assistant, Farm and Food Teen Training Program