Off and Running in the Community Gardens and the folks are loving it!
We’ve focused on container gardening in four of our Community Gardens and folks are getting excited to plant their seeds. I’ve emphasized that they need to be bringing those pots indoors when we get our Redbud, Dogwood, and Blackberry Winters, as we know we will! Well, we got the Redbud and now our Dogwood Winter this past week with temperatures dropping into the low 30’s overnight, but jumping up to 82 degrees during the day. Those little seeds are going to be so confused!
Ivy Creek Townhomes
Our first Community Garden was at Ivy Creek Townhomes and we had a great turnout! From listening to their talk, we have some seasoned gardeners who are willing to make the most of living in a housing complex and not having a large garden. They all studied their seed packets intently and we talked about just how to know when to start the seeds, when it was safe to leave them outdoors, how much to water them, and how to keep track of harvest time dates. I gave them calendars and little knickknacks to put in their pots to watch over their seeds. The tomato and pepper plants will be tucked in beside those seeds later in May.
Our second Community Garden was at Warco Housing. This is their second year of container gardening and they enjoyed the program so much they told their friends! We had a great turnout with several little ones joining their parents and grandparents in picking out seeds and dreaming of what they’ll grow. I like to think we’re growing ‘little gardeners’ along with our veggies. The chatter and excitement was contagious and lots of seeds were carried home in large pots and more to be sprinkled in their flowerbeds, so they’d have lettuce and spinach soon. My favorite part is seeing the excitement in the little ones eyes and the evident pride on the adults faces. This is important to them all.
Our third Community Garden was with Grigsby Heights and their plot is pretty massive. We tilled a 60′ x 80′ plot for four families and you could smell the excitement in the air as the soil was turned over. Seeds have been handed out, plant vouchers are in hand, and the dreams are beginning!
One family is expecting a little bundle of joy in June, but their 5 year old little guy is excited about playing in the dirt again this year. Another single fella is a long time gardener that has a very green thumb and is always willing to help anyone who needs it and loves talking plants. It’s hard to leave when the conversations are so interesting and lively.
Edith is our beloved Senior Citizen gardener and we were able to add to her patio pots this year with fresh soil and more pots that we were blessed with from the City of Prestonsburg. She didn’t know what to think when I pulled up with a friend and we unloaded a large amount of loamy soil and about 25 more pots for her to plant out. I do believe we might have overwhelmed her a bit and left her speechless, but we won’t leave her without continued help along the way.
Left Beaver Creek Townhomes
I was again able to work with Left Beaver Creek Townhomes this year, but we’re focusing on multiple container gardens on folks’ patios. This seems to be more manageable for more people, so we’re going this route. We had 3 new families join us and one is even exploring the idea of going it alone on the big plot from last year. We’ll keep you posted!
We have three more Community Gardens that we’ll be helping out in the month of May: Highland Terrace, Prestonsburg Nursing Care Facility, and Creekside Townhomes, so their stories will have to wait till another day. Our own garden at St. Vincent Mission was tilled this week and our peas have sprouted 4 inches since Tracey poked them into the ground a few weeks ago. She’s nearing the end of her 3 month internship and I’m going to miss her terribly, but she has a grand baby coming in less than a week and she’s looking forward to some time off to enjoy her. I’m hoping we can find a permanent place for her as a part time staff member in the months to come. Hoping and Praying!
Glenna Robinson is on her third year with Grow Appalachia, but more as a Team Player now! She’s got a new little greenhouse that her son Kenneth built for her out of recycled materials from her previous garden fencing and she’s growing out starts for sale! It’s full to the brim and she’s thinking it may need to be expanded in the very near future! I love when folks get a vision and run with it! She’s definitely a runner and a Mega Producer!
You’ve heard about my month and all my expectations; now tell me about yours! Dreaming of gardening, I hope!