In no uncertain terms the words “spring farming” and “School-to-Farm” seem remotely so far away in the uncertain times of a global worldwide pandemic. Instead of immersing our students in hands on learning and outdoor classrooms, their young, eager hands deep in rich soil, planting precious produce. Watching and learning how their plants grew, what their parts are and why they grow the way they do. We, like so many around the globe had to pause and instead fill their young curious hands with hand sanitizer, best hand washing practices and Chromebooks for remote learning safe at home. This change was and still is essential to the very health and safety of our community and thus like many other school activities we have had to adapt and find ways to continue on with our much needed learning and growing in Appalachia.
Fortunately for many Owsley County students farming and/or gardening is a long-instilled time-honored tradition. Many students enter school with a general knowledge of agriculture, plants, and animals and how they are raised. It is times such as these that we will heavily rely on those traditions and we are seeing the youth of the community follow along and learn these critical agricultural skills that are not only educational but instrumental in continuing the nutritional and healthy lifestyle that is so valuable to our society.
In this May 2020 edition of our blog we want to share with you tips and tricks for things you and your students can do right at your own homes/farms and gardens. We will also highlight some happenings around the county,local resources, and farmers that want to invite you to come see what they have to offer. Just because we are staying home does not mean we cannot also grow, eat, enjoy, and thrive healthy at home.
*Pictured Below: OCES Student Jackson “Brody” Carmack planting on the school farm in spring 2019 with help from OCHS students & OCES/OCHS Students participating in Heritage Day last Fall. Just a couple of reminders of the hard work and participation our students and staff put forth in having a successful school farm. We have been there before and we will get back there again.
* Soil testing should be completed. If not, you still have time. To complete the soil test, take 10-12 soil samples from different parts of the garden. Take these samples to your local extension office for analysis. The results will help you to determine how much fertilizer that you need to apply to your garden. *Owsley County Extension office directions link: https://owsley.ca.uky.edu/content/directions
*Late April/early May is the time to plant sweet corn. Potatoes can be planted if they are not already planted, as can any of the cold crops such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.
* Beans, tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, and muskmelon can be planted beginning mid-May. The average last frost is May 3 and May 18
Happy Hens Homestead LLC is locally owned an operated by Andee Stevens & Family. Located on Cow Creek, in Owsley County, they have produce, eggs, and homemade goat’s milk soaps using goat’s milk straight from their own farm. Andy says “the kids enjoy helping out on the farm daily!” Happy Hens Homestead LLC also takes orders online and delivers weekly t0 Booneville, Jackson and Hazard. They are also members of the Perry County Farmers Market which begins June 6th. They will also be part of the Owsley County Farmer’s Market ( opening date for 2020 to be announced).
Thank you Andee for such a beautiful farm display and your local farming service’s to the community!
*It is my goal to spotlight at least one farm/farmer/gardener ect. each month. If you would like to be featured or know someone in Owsley County who does please let me know.