WOW! Can you believe how the world has changed in just a few weeks.  It was just a few weeks ago that site leaders were assembled in Berea getting ready for another year of Grow Appalachia excitement.  Now, here we all sit, sequestered at home. No in person classes are allowed. Distribution of material and aids must be shared remotely.  Many are wondering where and when will this all end. Also, they are wondering what society will look like when we are set free from home isolation.

Many changes are happening in our lives.  We are learning new skills and ways of communicating.  Even the requirements for things like Blog due dates are changing.  The blog is not due today. But, I thought I would try to share with you how I am coping with the new social environment.

For me, gardening is a hobby.  I love to get out and do what I call piddle around.  I like to try new things. And, as I mentioned in my last Blog, gardening has been a way for me to interact with my mom.  She loves to discuss gardening. At 86, she is trying to find a way to have a container garden on her deck. She said she loves digging in the dirt.  OH yeah, she loves to eat the fruit of her labor also.

Since gardening is a hobby for me, I always like to try new things.  Last year, I tried 3 Sisters gardening, which proved to be quite profitable.  I also tried raising my corn in a bed instead of in long rows. At a Grow Appalachia training, I learned that in order for corn to germinate properly at least 4 rows are needed.  In the past I always grew my corn in one or 2 long rows. This did not allow my corn to germinate properly.  Growing corn in a bed was profitable too. My corn grew better than it ever has in these short, multiple rows. Although my harvest wasn’t great.  The coons and the coyotes harvested it before I could.

Also, since gardening is a hobby, it is also a source of coping for me.  Being Healthy at Home is difficult for someone who is always on the go. Being Healthy at Home has allowed me, as a pastor, to read and study more.  However, sometimes I need to stretch my legs and breathe some fresh air. This is where the garden helps. To cope, I can get to work.

I have learned during this time of self-quarantine, that being home isn’t so bad.  I do not have to be on the road doing something 16 hours a day. Spending some time at home is a good thing.  Another lesson I have learned is that YouTube is full of gardening lessons. I have watched many videos on channels such as: Gardening with Leon, The Arms Family Homestead, and Hollis and Nancy’s Homestead.

By watching these videos, I have learned some new ideas which I want to try this year.  Gardening With Leon and the Arms Family Homestead teach about self-wicking tubs. I am going to try a few of these out this year.  Hollis and Nancy taught about growing potatoes in 5 gallon buckets. This is another venture which I am taking up this year. I don’t know how the projects will turn out, but I am giving them a try.  

How are you coping with being Healthy at Home?  My faith and my gardening are helping me cope. My wife and I have put in some work.  We have even already tidied up the fire pit area, putting it to use. There is nothing like an evening sitting around a crackling fire to calm an anxious soul.  Anyway, I am not a professional gardener. I am just a guy who likes to piddle with different things to see if he can get something to grow. In order to show some of the things I am trying, I added a few pictures.  Also, I  added a picture of my first ever strawberry blossom, and broccoli and Brussels sprouts, which I have never grown before.

Anyway, I hope you are coping well,  I hope your garden brings as much joy to you as mine does to me.  Walk in faith, and exercise your body and mind, and we can all make it through this together.