Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) kicked off their Grow Your Own program this past week. Classes were taught at three different sites to over 60 attendees. The focus of these workshops was Garden Planning which can be one of the most intimidating topics for a beginner. After introductions and a general overview of the program, members were asked to set goals for their 2019 gardens. Some members wanted to plant low maintenance gardens. Some wanted to increase only plantings of their cash crops. Some members wanted to focus on the top three crops their family consumed, and some wanted to diversify and grow a little bit of everything.

Everyone was given time to build a rough draft of their garden and dedicate spaces for their preferred crops therein. In their garden planning, they considered orientation, row size, walkway size, pest pressures, and, of course, timing. This year’s program started especially early to avoid the stress of planning a garden right before starting up the tiller, or, worse, after starting up the tiller. Grow Your Own members will report back to next month’s workshop with soil samples and rough drafts of their gardens.