The Dog Days of Summer are upon us and we’re all feeling the weight of weed pressure and disease. It’s been an especially hard year for our new gardeners, but our seasoned gardeners are trudging through with early morning weeding and late afternoon watering.
Our monthly Grow Appalachia meeting have been such a joy for all of us. We’ve had 32 family gardens remain faithful this year, encouraging each other, sharing stories of success and failure, and even a little cooking together. We’ve partnered with Keith and Andi at the Floyd County Extension Office, Becky and Bonnie at Appalachian Roots, Floyd County Health Department’s Good and Cheap Program, Left Beaver Creek Townhomes, Martin Housing, and Highland Terrace Senior Housing.
Left Beaver Creek Townhomes has had the hardest time as first time gardeners in a new garden location. They’ve battled grasses and creek weeds, but they’ve also successfully harvest tons of zucchini, cucumbers, yellow squash and a few tomatoes and peppers. It’s been a struggle, but they’ve braved through it with the help of friends who joined them after the initial plantings.
We went to a new (to us) housing development to plant bucket gardens and the families that participated were very happy to think that they could grow their own vegetables on their patios. The smiles on their faces say it all!
Bonnie and Durward Hale have had a busy year, but they’ve been able to plant and harvest a lot from their garden and have blessed their neighbors with the extras. They have an amazing terraced area that makes the best use of their hillside. They have blueberry bushes that are twenty-five years old and some that are younger. Apple and pear trees, herbs and flowers tucked into extra spaces around their property. The garden surrounding their patio area is cozy and very peaceful.
John and Hilary Griffith have been developing her childhood home into a raised garden paradise complete with several dozen hummingbirds. They’ve enjoyed watching the babies flit around the feeders and heard the Big Daddy hum and buzz instruction to the little ones. They can identify several different families by their coloration and voices. I’d never heard hummingbirds make so much noise before visiting with the Griffiths. It was a joy to sit with them on their front porch and watch the hummingbirds zipping, chest bumping, and sipping nectar.
Highland Terrace Senior Housing in Prestonsburg got some renovations this year in the way of new boards for their nine year old raised beds and a 6′ x 8′ greenhouse from Harbor Freight. Gary & Will Gearheart volunteered to do the labor and help the folks out before their grounds inspection in August. Between 98 degree days and sporadic rain bursts, we got it done. Sharon had help from her great niece and nephew in organizing greenhouse parts and assisting the guys in putting it together.