Garden Visits Galore!

Our garden visits have been a wonderful experience.  I hope you enjoy a sneak peak at just how wonderful Wayne County gardens are growing this summer even during a global pandemic.

Our first stop Rayetta “Mamaw” Osburn’s farm on Beech Fork Road.  Rayetta has been through so much this year and says that the garden has helped her cope with losing the “love of her life Clifford”.  She told us that if it hadn’t been for the garden she would have sat in her house all summer being sad and depressed.  Her garden has kept her mind in the right place as she put it.  Losing the love of her life hasn’t been easy but having the garden sure helped her keep busy and focused on other things.  It was a pleasure visiting her garden.

Mamaw Osburns Abby

Amber Butcher and her kiddos have really enjoyed their very first garden this year.  The kids both gave me the grand tour explaining all the wonderful things their mom has taught them about gardening.  They told me all about how they planted the corn and how the electric fence can cause you to get a good shock.  I had a blast listening to the story about digging potatoes….I even got a demonstration from both the kids how to dig potatoes.  A fabulous experience with them in their very first garden.

Tony and Cala Clay have been busy working on two gardens this summer and putting up lots of canned goods from the harvest they have collected.  “Mr. Clay”, as I call him, is the principal at Genoa Elementary.  The Clay’s jumped on board the Grow Wayne train in the first few days we announced the program.  We are happy to work with both of these wonderful folks in Wayne County and look forward to watching all their progress.

Dawn Streets and her lovely garden wins the tallest tomato plants in Wayne County.  Dawn also has some of the healthiest looking plants on the planet.  While visiting with Dawn she mentioned having oodles of strawberry plants she needed moved.  So she donated them to our program participants.

We have watched the program go from a few folks getting together in the first meeting to a support system that chats daily on our Grow Wayne message board.  If anyone has a problem the group will work together and figure out what to do about it.  It has been an amazing journey!

Recovery and Community Gardening

Marie’s House Women’s Recovery garden is a partnership with Wayne United Methodist Church. The church donated the lot next door and is the location of three raised garden beds.  COVID19 placed a huge set back early this spring so our garden at the church is only three weeks old.  The ladies at Marie’s planted a Three Sisters Garden in bed one, lettuce in bed two, and squash in bed three.  We hope to have a successful garden and plan on winter gardening as well this year.  Stay tuned on that as it will be a first for the recovery house to get to experience…..and I am so excited to help with that adventure!

South Western Community Action Council also reached out to us about their raised beds in Huntington, WV so we assisted them in early June with plants and seeds.  Their garden consists of zucchini, tomatoes, green beans and yellow squash.  The garden is a community pick as you walk by outreach for the community.

Gardening the Next Generation

Felicia and Daniel Adkins decided to join the program this year so that they could also share the experience with their children.  The kids have spent a lot of time working alongside their parents learning about plants and maintaining the garden.  They even got to witness a rarity….the potato plants baring fruit.  The girls are home schooled and this has been quite the hands on learning that the Adkins were looking for with Grow Appalachia.

Kassandra Spaulding, Crum, WV has a beautiful garden and has put up peaches, green beans and will have a bunch more to put up here soon.  I enjoyed visiting with her and her family.

Adriene Spaulding, Wilsondale, WV has harvested and preserved food this summer for her family.  She checked in with twenty-one quarts of canned corn, fifty quarts of potatoes, and 50 quarts of green beans.  She has also given away 500 ears of corn and two bushels of green beans.  She is very impressed with the garden this year and is looking forward to canning lots more including her tomatoes soon as they are a bit late this season.  Her cornfield looked amazing!!!

Phyllis Brumfield and her son Benton were hard at it when I stopped in to visit with them last week.  Benton gave me the grand garden tour and the best part of the visit I left with homemade strawberry pie!  Benton is also a very active 4H member here in Wayne County.

Lori Mills, who also happens to be my sister, has been keeping us all updated on the garden daily by posting wonderful pictures of the gardens.  She and I planted three garden spots this year but our potato garden didn’t do all that well so Lori dug the small harvest and planted those wonderful Ozark strawberries that Dawn Streets donated to the program.  Lori’s peppers have produced an enormous bounty.  She canned for the first time this summer and preserved the peppers.  She also put up corn freezing 7 gallons.

Farm Box Program

The ACCESS WV Grow Wayne Farm Box Program has had an enormous response and we are ecstatic about the success. We are at the halfway point (week 9) for the season and here is the latest update:

16 Farms found outlets for their products in the midst of a global pandemic

280 Farm Boxes have been sold and donated to families across our region

$10,000 in revenue has stayed in our local community to circulate and have an even greater impact

This local foods movement has made all the difference in our community and we look forward to many more successes to share with you in the future!