Greetings from Grow Your Own here in Abingdon, VA. We are very thankful for Grow Appalachia’s continued support of our program and look forward to working with more growers this season. Our surveys arrived early this week and we’ve been working diligently to get them distributed to all of our past and present growers. Thanks to all at GA headquarters for their work in getting these out to us at such a busy time of the year.
The process of gathering emails and addresses from prior growers required that a dig through binders of past seasons, from 2012 – present. Flipping through the pages of these worn binders, was like taking a journey through the lives of those we’ve worked with. There were handwritten notes from growers expressing their struggles and how the program helped change their outlook on their own lives. Notes that were full of gratitude and hope, but others expressed sadness and loss. There were scraps of paper that contained harvest records in measurements like quarts of tomatoes and ziplock baggies of jalapeno peppers. The pages smelled like dirt and dampness, but contained stories unique to mankind.
Although my path never crossed those of the early days of this program, I felt a connection with them as I stamped their survey envelopes with a prayer that they’ll respond. With any luck, the final surveys will be delivered this afternoon to the last of our community gardeners.
As for the demonstration garden, cabbage is left to be harvested along with cauliflower and kale. The hoop is teeming with lettuce, spinach, onions, and carrots. All irrigation tape has been removed and stored for the season, the rest of the garden has been cover cropped and is resting gently. Seed orders will begin soon and the dreaming will begin for who, when, and how. Wishing all of you a restful end to 2016 and a beautiful beginning to 2017.