Fall is here and so am I , Lori here from McDowell County, WV. We are so happy that we finally have normal weather right now. It has made some big improvements in some of our gardens. Plants are growing well now, especially lettuce, beans, greens, and cucumbers. Tomatoes are still doing great!
We here at the center were so happy with our sweet potato harvest this month. We got right around two bushels. Not bad for growing in tires. This is the first year they actually grew for us. We have been trying to find someone to teach a pressure canning class, and we think we have a lady coming soon to do one. Since we had so many potatoes, I taught myself how to do it. Thanks to the manual that came with the canner, I didn’t blow anything up. So far we got 20 quarts canned and ready to give out, and we still have more to go.
We have been hard working on ideas for next year. If we are funded for another year, we are radically increasing out participants and expanding more into Mercer County, After we submitted our proposal one of our Mercer County participants told us that several of their neighbors wanted to join us. Logistics would have been a little tough but we worked it out to where we could do the classes for Mercer County at their house. They called again and stated that a church would let us use their fellowship hall! Then they asked how many people we could handle. I asked how many we were possibly looking at, they said maybe hundreds between three churches. I died a little! We suggested they get us a count of folks that really want to do it and we will see how we can do it.
Getting volunteers to help will not be a problem since we have people through the DHHR that can help. The only problem would be transportation to the sites. We have a contact working on grant money for that. One of our summer work groups informed me the other day that they applied for a grant for us as well. Apparently we are famous in Pittsburgh. We applied for a Sponsor a Hive grant, we are waiting on word for that. If we get it, we are going to do beekeeping work shops at the center for anyone interested in doing it, but focusing on kids.
Our existing participants are very excited and have all manner of ideas regarding what they would like to try next season. Our cover crop supplies in and we are passing them out to the ones that are using them. We are working on setting up another season extension class, and we are cleaning up some of our garden spots and readying them for the next round. We have a couple row cover tunnels coming, we are hoping to get some spinach to grow at least once. We’ve only been trying for 3 years.
Our Diocesan Convention is in a couple weeks and our fundraiser will go towards our garden program, we will be selling canned goods again, and home made soap. Wish us luck! Until next time, Have a fabulous Fall.