It looks like spring might finally have shown up. The ground is drying up and we’re getting gardens tilled. We’re still expecting a hard frost or two, but our seeds are tucked into the soil and waiting for the warmth of the sun to wake them up.
Our tomatoes and peppers will have to wait until all danger of frost is over tho. The Grow Appalachia families are eagerly studying the characteristics of Mountain Gold, Beefsteak, and Better Boy tomatoes along with Sweet Banana, Hot Banana, & Sweet Green peppers. Our dreams from January are finally in sight. I’ve never seen such enthusiastic gardeners, but I think it’s because of the delayed anticipation.
While waiting for spring to peek it’s head up, we were able to make some Strawberry and TripleBerry Jam with a group of Ninth Graders from St. Anne’s-Belfield High School in Virginia. They were so eager to learn how to make jam and when it was all finished, they talked about going home and showing their Moms how to make fresh jam. They had such a refreshing confidence in their new found skills. They designed labels for our jams and processed the jams from start to finish in a water bath canner. Their smiles said it all.
These same Ninth Graders built a Lending Library for our garden. They painted book themes around the box and signed it very artistically. Their leaders Sophie and Mady were amazing and it was a great week as they added touches of art to our bee hive and my heart.
We have peas in a couple of our gardens already! The Banks family proudly showed off their five rows of peas to me and excitedly await to pick their first ‘mess’. The fresh snap of a pea pod between your teeth and the sweet, green taste on your tongue is something that you anticipate each year as peas are one of the first veggies to ripen in the garden. These second year gardeners have this delicious crop mastered!
Our Senior Gardeners have been the first of our Community Gardens with peas popping up in them. They have absolutely worn me out with their enthusiasm and stamina for planting as soon as the seeds are in hand. I am continually laughing at their energy as I’m ready to crawl to my car after our two hour planting sessions. They are a joyful group of ladies and gentlemen.
The tulips are up just in time for the Floyd County Home and Garden Expo last week. We set up a table of free seeds letting people know about St. Vincent Mission and Grow Appalachia. They about wiped me out of seeds and that was great!
The little ones from Martin Housing had fun playing in the freshly tilled garden soil and Mom was able to start some seeds to put in those pots.
It’s shaping up to be a very promising growing season.