Don’t stop now, enjoy Fall Crops!

Summer season 2020 is coming to an end, fall crops are now being planted. My participates have been patience with me as a New Grow Appalachia Coordinator. We have learned new techniques from each other for next year’s growing season. We all have managed to work together to complete classes on the Grow Appalachia face book page with the help of Floyd County Extinction office sending virtual videos to post on our page due to not being able to attend classes due to the pandemic guidelines.


My experiences throughout the last five years I have volunteered at Saint Vincent Mission garden to help out the former last three coordinators has been a lot of weeding. Weeding takes a lot of time away from everything that needs to be done. This season I researched on eliminating all that wasted time weeding by laying black plastic down on my walkways with woodchips to hold it down, it was a success. You can use biodegradable mulch that is made from wood pulp, it decomposes after the growing season, cardboard and newspaper with grass clippings that haven’t seeded yet to help stop weeds. These three mulches improves moisture retention, conserving water and keeping plants hydrated. I have encouraged my participates to try it next year to cut down on weeding.


This season as a New Coordinator I have learned from my mistakes of what not to do next year. I am planning on starting a Fall Crop with the no till garden technique. I will be removing everything out of the garden that has ended it’s harvest this season and planting new seeds for the Fall Crop. I plan on using the cover fabric and PVC over the post that are already placed for fall crops hoop tunnels to protect my cold crops.  My fall crop will help continue to share with the pantry participates and canning to provide extra money to the program for the spring season. Saint Vincent Mission received a grant for a greenhouse to help provide extra starter plants for our Grow Appalachia participates and community.

Interns Steve Slone and Govinni built Greg a tool shed that the mission received a grant for this summer. Steve has been a great asset in helping with his ideas to eliminate flooding in the garden and high tunnel.  Steve suggested that if center blocks were placed in front of garden it will detour the water from the garden, it worked. We had problems with flooding in high tunnel, therefore, Steve, Govinni, and Paul dug a ditch that solved the problem too. He helped set up poles, arches, tilling, electric fence around the donated garden and many other helpful things that the mission was in need of fixing. I’m sure going to miss his helping hand and great ideas. Greg has helped me out a lot this season too. He has maintained the Salsa High Tunnel and the mission garden when I was busy taking care of garden visits and paperwork. I’m sure going to miss his helping hand too.


Here are some pictures that I am still harvesting at the mission and at my home. I have posted pictures of some of my ideas for next year too.  Somehow, I received a surprise in my garden at home, come to find out it was a volunteer Broomcorn which is called Sorghum that is used for making brooms and whiskbrooms. I plan on keeping the seeds from it and plant more next year. I experimented planting sliced tomatoes and it was a success too. I have been saving seeds from my harvest this year that I will be planting next year at the mission. It’s been a wonderful experience for me as a New Grow Appalachia Coordinator.  


My experience with the Floyd County Farmer’s Market this year has been a success. I have met a lot of wonderful people sharing new recipes and ideas to help each other with our gardens and canning for next year. My canning sidekicks Jeanette Mullins, Greg Wagner, and intern Eternity has provided a great variety of jams, salsas, monkey butter (Best Seller), Apple Butter, Pickles, Bread, pawpaw and squash pies to sell at the market and Mission. We all have worked together to try new recipes for the community to enjoy. I’m looking forward to providing new recipes for the community to try next year.