Excitement abounds here in lovely McDowell County. Lori here with your monthly update of what’s going on.

We are so proud and happy to announce that our participants and our selves have overcome the annoying little issues that this growing season has throw our way from blown tires on trailers hauling fertilizer, to plow parts needing replaced at the worst possible times, and of course the weird weather patterns. Garden flooding and staff changes didn’t hold us back either. The harvest numbers on our recent report show that our participants have harvested over 12, 000 pounds of food so far this season and are still growing strong.

It is actually rather humbling to see the impact that this program has on the people here. One of our new participants to the program this year called the office to tell us that she harvested her first green tomato so she could have a “real” fried green tomato. She was so happy because it was the first thing that she ever grew, harvested and eaten in her life. Another participant stated that they “loved the program because we know will have food for the winter and for the times we can’t get to the store.” More comments that we get are “working in the garden helps me when I’m stressed out”, “it’s fun having the grandkids beside us in the dirt.” one of my favorites is, “my beans and taters taste better than the ones from the store.”

Thursday we are headed to Mercer County to do a workshop on food preservation.  Some want to learn how to make sauerkraut, and some one to learn how to preserve eggplant. There is also a great interest in dehydrating as well.  It may be a couple of classes instead of just one so we can cover as much as we can.  If there is time after the class, we will be meeting with a veterans group that wants to get in the program next year. If we run out of time Thursday we will go right back another day. In McDowell County we are doing several preservation classes over the next few weeks. We are starting with peaches, and we will be doing one on pressure canning green beans and potatoes. We have decided that instead of doing a one size fits all class, we are going to go by what the families want to learn.  We do need to do some research on the preserving eggplant because we don’t really know much about that particular vegetable. Any advice would be appreciated.

Now to include some more pictures submitted by our participants.

We will have more pictures next time, there will be some lovely squash, and zucchini photos, probably some tomatoes and other good stuff as well. So stay tuned.

Time to do some more work on the proposal for next year.

Until next time, May your harvest be plentiful and your weeds be few.