Greetings from St. Vincent Mission in beautiful downtown David, KY!  Many exciting things are happening at the Mission and the gardeners are coming out in force this month.  Our organizational GA meeting has been held and the turnout was better than any of us could have hoped.  I’ll get back to that…

Speaking of meetings, last week I really enjoyed meeting you all at the GA Gathering!  I learned a lot of new techniques and made good connections, but most of all I enjoyed putting names with faces and hearing about your programs.  It seems to me that each site has its own strengths and unique niche in the gardening community, and together we are making real changes in the way we eat live and grow. It is truly my honor to be counted in your number and I look forward to many future gatherings.  I appreciate the works of everyone in the office to bring it all together—I’ve been on committees charged with putting together meetings and conferences and I know how labor intensive it is.  This conference was beautifully executed and very much valued as we are given the opportunity to share our talents and skills.  Or in my case, be in awe of your talents and skills.

Some of my best time was spent in Mark’s sessions, learning about organic gardening.  I found those sessions to be very informational and some questions were answered for me before I got the chance to ask them.  I especially liked hearing him instruct us to get to know our local greenhouses.  This lets me off the hook somehow when it comes to starting my own seeds.  I have never had much luck with this, although I try very hard every year.  I will continue to learn about it of course, but knowing that I have my greenhouse partnership sure makes me sigh a big relief.  Our greenhouse here in Floyd county has been active for over 30 years and their expertise outshines mine by a country mile.  I went there on Tuesday and was given a tour of the grounds and the 7 greenhouses they keep busy.  I am happy to say our partnership is established, and growing like the weeds in my own garden.

To get back to St Vincent Mission, we are also enjoying the warm weather and getting ready for working groups to come in and help us with our obligation to our community members.  We have an idea of expanding our own garden beds to “rent” to community members and help them to grow their own food.  It’s an idea that bloomed during our long ride home after the Gathering—it is during those conversations that we were able to share the ideas that we learned and figure out the ones that could work for our community.  We are discussing high tunnels as well, and the possibility of a road side vegetable stand for our growers to operate.  We are a tight group at the mission; we work hard and sometimes we get to take a little trip to recharge our batteries.  Here is a picture from a recent trip to Pikeville, and the view from mountain cut through, and also a picture of our first meeting  Full room!  Until next month, I wish you peas, love and happiness.

Tammy Ball

DSC_1257whole gang