BUSY doesn’t even begin to describe how this time of the year has been. Harvests are piling in, everyone is canning, freezing, dehydrating, and soon St. Vincent will be freeze drying with our new Harvest Right Freeze Dryers. We’ll be ordering them along with a couple of Zojirushi bread machines to make some value added products with our herbs Thanks to Kentucky Colonels and the grant they awarded us! We’re ramping up to help our community explore more ways to preserve their harvest and feed their families. We’ve already connected with a group from the McGoffin County area to help feed some shut-ins and we’re so excited about this partnership! Exciting times ahead!
SEASON FINALE OF GARDEN VISITS
I visited some more gardens this month and saw the rewards of their hard labor being dehydrated. Becky & Jimmy Derossett have pulled their tomato cages out and stacked them to dry before pulling their plants off of them. The tomatoes and peppers were plentiful and they’re already planning a bigger garden next year. I also spied some hot peppers growing at the request of their son this year. I don’t know the name for this one, but they were beautiful, shiny, and red! Larger than a cayenne pepper, but just as spicy! They gifted me a couple for my kitchen play time and we shall see just how hot they are!
I love when I discover new things about our gardeners and realize they’re not just quiet, little gardeners toiling in the soil. Ms. Becky is a talented artist from early childhood and has so many beautiful treasures that she’s painted over the years. She takes inspiration from artists such as Winslow Homer, and she even had a portrait of her mentor and teacher, Thomas J. Whitaker, that she sketched! I am always surprised when I visit this lovely couple. There stories become a little more clear to me when I step into their home and see what they’re proudly displaying. The beauty of nature inside and out is a gentle reminder that our time here on this earth is a precious commodity and to spend it well. Ms. Becky reminded me of this without saying a word.
Bernadine Isaac has some beautiful raised beds made with galvanized metal and 2×4 bracing full of tomato & pepper plants still. Even into September, the plants were over 4 feet tall in their stately towers with green tomatoes on them. I visited during a steady drizzle, but enjoyed her marigolds and roses growing beside her garden beds.
Jason Greer and his wife, Rachel, have had a busy year! Between growing his business (Surefoot Survival and Self Reliance), building raised beds for his mother-in-law, working on a tractor, chasing after a Kindergartener, and having a new BABY!, they’ve managed to grow a bucket garden. Their buckets were around 18 inches tall, but the plants I saw a couple of weeks ago were over our heads!
Shannon & Theresa Shepherd, along with their beautiful grandson Kipper, have grown a huge garden behind their home this summer. Their long butternut squash are taking over after the beans and tomatoes have begun to fade out, and we spotted some sweet potato vines climbing over the fence too. We had the best time exploring and finding tomatoes and beans tucked away in the corners. They had a wonderful cellar made out of an old refrigerator buried deep in the ground that had proven great at storing winter produce in past years.
Jordan & Kaila KosKoski have quite the amazing pumpkin patch this fall to brag to the neighbors in the Grisby Heights neighborhood in Martin, KY. You’ll find a dozen mid-sized pumpkins hidden amongst the giant leaves in their patch and their little boy, Eli, is looking forward to the time when they can carve & paint some faces into them. Jordan also has a passion for HOT peppers and he was gifted a Chocolate Buddha that he’s planning on growing out from seed next year. This one will have to be kept away from the children, the pets, and the bare fingers! Chocolate is not a name I would give to this hot pepper, something like DRAGONFIRE &$%# would be more appropriate.
Gardening has become a passion that all of our gardeners are sharing with their children and grandchildren and I see a bold legacy growing in our region once again.