Summer is officially here! Smells of fresh vegetables on the grill , fresh Fish from the local streams on the hook and the first signs of healthy crops beginning to show.

In our small corner of Southeastern Kentucky. Owsley County may seem far removed from civilization to the outsider looking in. The lush green rolling hills, paved highways cut through walls of mountain, back-roads only a 4-wheel drive can maneuver, and the unmistakable Southeast Kentuckian dialect are all hallmarks of this thriving community.

Like the rest of the world the effect of the Covid -19 pandemic and the worlds current events reach home even to rural Owsley County. No exceptions are made because of size, location, and demographics. In fact it is times such as these that we ( like many ) find resilience and strength and we do what we know how to do best : stop to appreciate our surroundings, enjoy our loved ones and dig in! ( literally 😊 )

In this June 2020 edition of our blog we want to continue to share with you tips and tricks for things you and yours 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 going on.

Happy Summer,

Mrs. B ♥

OCHS FFA Students having a productive summer fencing in the school farm, planting tomatoes, beans and many other items . We are truly KYPROUD of them and all they do !

June Gardening Tips by: Alan Taylor

This is the time of year when gardeners begin the process of preserving a part of the garden vegetables when they harvest them. Cabbage will be processed into sauerkraut. This process is very simple, as the recipe that is included shows. Late peas can be harvested and canned now. The use of a pressure cooker is recommended for peas when canning them. This can help to kill dangerous bacteria which can make you sick. Green beans and sweet corn will soon be ready to harvest. Preserving these vegetables will be discussed in the next blog installment. New potatoes should be ready to harvest, although the harvesting of these potatoes will cause the harvest of later potatoes to be smaller since these potatoes are not grown and won’t be replaced by the same plants.

Blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries will soon be ready to harvest. These small fruits can be used for fresh eating, canning, jellies, frozen whole, and in pies for baking. A sample recipe for making jellies from these berries can be found in the boxes of fruit pectin that will be needed to make jelly. The primary fruit pectin in this area goes by the brand name of Sure Jell.

Tomatoes will ripen shortly, depending on the date that they were put out. Tomato juice, whole tomatoes, and ketchup are some of the products that can be the product of preserved tomatoes. Preservation of tomatoes will be discussed in the next blog installment.

Late gardens should be planted now. Green beans, sweet corn, turnips, mustard, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower should all be planted in the near future in order to mature before the first killing frost.

Happy gardening!

**See link below for Sauerkraut recipe

Local Spotlight: Harris Family Farming

OCES’s very own Virginia Harris and family live, work and enjoy farming in Owsley County. Virginia was kind enough to give us a peek into life on the on the farm and the importance of tradition as they pass on their knowledge to their grandchildren. Thank you so much for sharing with is Virginia!

*Electric fence to keep the deer out. The girls check the fence every morning.

*The Beets are up!

*The chickens get fed green leaves for snacks and the eggs get collected. The girls also get some baby chick lovin’♥

*A Beautiful crop! -Virginia’s Tip: Use/hang cd’s, soda cans , Irish soap , and Diatomasceous Earth powder to help keep animals from eating your hard work :).

*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.

Mrs. B♥