Rhonda’s hands after a long day at the Orchard

We are beginning to feel the chill here in Alderson, but the farmers and gardeners do not let the weather hinder their progress. Sustainability is a full time commitment and farmers understand that more than ever as summer proceeds to fall and fall continues to winter. An amazing example of this commitment in our Grow Appalachia program here in Alderson is seen through our participant Rhonda.

This past Friday, Rhonda hosted an apple tree-pruning workshop with the help of the WVU Agricultural School. Despite the rainy, dreary weather, the workshop was a complete success. It was hosted at the heirloom apple orchard Rhonda has been caring for the past two years. Since she began to care for the several heirloom apple trees there, they have continued to grow in a healthy and delicious way. The participants at the workshop were able to learn the true value of pruning and how to attain delicious and abundant varieties of apples from the trees all over West Virginia and even right in their backyards. In the workshop, Rhonda and the WVU agriculture school were able to help people gain insight in what may be an intimidating task for those uneducated in apple tree pruning. Many people in west Virginia have apple trees right in there backyard that have not been properly tended and after this workshop were able to leave knowing that with just a little attention, that trip to the grocery store for a bag of granny smith’s is now unnecessary!