President Muffley, quoted in the title of this post, may have to make a call to Dr. Strangelove for an explanation of this spring-like weather, but the daffodils are racing the Carolina pines to be responsible for the first blanket of pollen in 2017. The daffodils appear to be leading, but those pines have a height advantage and no Slim Pickens’ rodeo ride can overcome that.

So on this day of celebrating actual presidents rather than the stately ones we’ve admired on the big screen (no quoting Bill Pullman’s speech from Independence Day here), we share the interest we’ve had in the Grow Appalachia project. Almost everyone from 2016, our year one (only monarchs we expect around here are the butterfly variety!), is continuing. Like delegates positioning for a diplomatic post in Fiji or Luxembourg after their candidate won the White House, new interested gardeners have reached out to us eager to get started. Our plan to work with experienced and returning bureaucrats – I mean gardeners – to be “Garden Buddies” to our new participants. Some of these buddies are Master Gardeners, and other are just great gardeners and exemplary volunteers.

Think of ‘potato’, how’s it spelled? You’re right phonetically, but what else…? – Dan Quayle

Our education series begins March 14 with dinner here at the Community Kitchen in Hospitality House, followed by a session with one of our great Cooperative Extension agents who specializes in Organic Gardening. Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, a tremendous ally and ambassador for family farming, homesteading, and sustainable agriculture, partners with Hospitality House to arrange the20170202_161254_South Jefferson Avenue training pieces vital to our program.       

Energetic and visionary staff, with help of interns and volunteers from both Hospitality House programs and the community, are planning a robust herb garden, readying the tractor for the chickens, turning the compost (no, that’s not a comment about the Legislative or Judicial Branches), starting seeds, and replacing grass-covered lawn with garden terraces. One of our favorite farmers will be growing some starts for us in their newly built greenhouse, and with the unseasonably warm weather, we’ll be turning under cover crop soon and hooking our rain barrels back up. So partners, members of the Hospitality House family near and far, and gardeners everywhere, let me report that the State of our garden is strong.

…that no other human occupation opens so wide a field for the profitable and agreeable combination of labor with cultivated thought, as agriculture.  – Abraham Lincoln