This year as a New Grow Appalachia Coordinator has been a real challenge for me, fighting pests, deadlines, maintaining the mission garden and donated garden, garden visits, Farmer’s Market. There’s only been one educational class due to Covid 19 guidelines, therefore, posting educational videos on our face book page.  We all have learned new techniques from each other. Many of our corn growers have had issues with wind blowing crops over and raccoons eating their crops. Overall, It’s been a really good experience for me. Many of our participates are getting ready for their fall crops. Here are some of the wonderful harvesting our families have succeeded in this growing season.

Patrick’s family maintain their garden together. He mentioned that he doesn’t have any trouble getting his daughters to help maintain the garden since we provided them with a stirrup hoe. Patrick gave me some rattle snake beans and purple tommy toe tomatoes seeds to plant at the mission next year. He explained to me when to harvest the purple tommy toe tomatoes. He said that it will turn purple going downward, then red upward, then it’s ready to harvest. I have been researching how to help corn crops being blown over from the wind.  Many of my participates have had problems with the corn crops being destroyed by the wind. Patrick mentioned that his corn crop had been destroyed by the wind. I was going to suggest the Florida Weave and he had already did that to support the corn. I believe that if you start the Florida Weave as the corn grows it will be supported from wind damage. I have used the Florida Weave at the mission for my tomatoes and it has been a success.

This family layers newspaper and seedless grass clippings to help prevent weeds in their garden. They compost their scraps underneath the newspaper to help the soil with nutrients. They have made a framed trellis that is slanted to harvest cucumbers easier. Their son and daughter loves the pumpkin patch. They have planted basil in small pots to move around the garden to help fight pests at the time of need. I believe I will be trying some of these techniques at the mission next year.

This has been a really great experience for me this season as a new Grow Appalachia Coordinator. We have all learned different techniques to help each other have a successful growing season. I’m looking forward to trying all the new techniques that I have learned this year for next years season. My goal is to encourage more families to start a garden next year. I am now working on my fall crop and encouraging my participates to do the same too.  Here are the rest of the harvest pictures from all my participates. Hope you enjoy them!