In the long ago days of yesteryear, gardening was a family event. Families worked hard throughout the year to provide their own food for the winter. Plowing, planting, harvesting and canning were all common words in the family vernacular. Also, the training of the next generation was an important part of the family dynamic. Dad’s had to teach the boys how to grow a large garden so that one day he could provide for his family. Teaching was important for the ladies of the household too. The Mothers taught their daughters how to preserve the harvest. These lessons began after the harvest. Canning, pickling, and drying were all a part of the curriculum for the families. Each member of the family played a part in the harvest. The lessons learned would aid them when they began a family of their own in the future.
With the arrival of the supermarket, the need for plowing, planting, harvesting, and canning began to wane. Soon, instead of a means of survival, the family garden became a hobby. When gardening turned into a hobby, the need to learn seemed not as necessary.
Eventually, instead of everyone knowing how to plow, plant, harvest and can; very few possessed the skill.
As time passed, folks began to figure out that massed produced vegetables were not as nutritious as those grown at home. Also, with the understanding of the growing techniques of the mass producers being brought to light, folks began to understand that maybe the mass produced, shipped from overseas produce, wasn’t such a benefit after all. Also, as the economy of the Appalachia’s changed, the need for new sources of revenue began to surface. Growing fresh produce and selling at a Farmer’s Market became an option.
What had happened in the mountains though is that those traditions of plowing, planting, harvesting, and canning had been mostly forgotten. Instead of almost everyone knowing how to perform each of the tasks, almost no one did. How would the lessons of by-gone years be taught to the new generations of prospective gardeners? Who would fill the gaps created by a few generations who had missed the mentoring of their forefathers?
Today, that question is being answered by Grow Appalachia. They are filling the gap of missed generations of mentoring in the garden. They provide all the necessary training to help a new generation of gardeners and farmers with learning how to plow, plant, harvest, and can. They teach how to prepare the soil, plan the layout of the garden or field, how to plant, what to plant, how to repair the soil, when to harvest, and finally how to preserve for future use.
Now, I’m sure that Grow Appalachia cannot replace the lessons taught by your grandfather. But, if you attend the meetings, listen to instruction, and participate in the lessons; you may just find out that Grow Appalachia has a few tricks up their sleeve. They may just teach you how to out produce Papaw.
Give Grow Appalachia a try. They may help you Recover the Past so you can have a more productive future. All through teaching you how to plow, plant, harvest and can!