It has been so busy here that it seems like we just barely finished up 2020 and here we are plunging into our 2021 season. Our parent facility, Henderson Settlement, like a lot of places has had to reduce staffing to make ends meet. That means those of us that are left have to wear a multitude of hats and some of those hats are not as comfortable to wear as others.
Gardening, you all know, is a year round job even when it’s cold and snowy there’s still work to do; planning for the needs of our gardeners, preparing the soil and working to get plant and seed orders together to begin the planting season. (Just mentioning this in case you thought we took a vacation to a sunnier location.)
We have been taking applications to meet our goal of gardeners for 2021 and we have exceeded that. More than 40 gardeners have already signed up to participate and the applications are still coming in. We try not to turn anyone away. We just make adjustments to accommodate everyone. It usually all evens out because some that have signed up will have to withdraw for one reason or another. So far our youngest gardener is 5 years old and the oldest doesn’t want us to give out her age.
Even though the COVID 19 stats are dwindling we are still having people with concerns about food security. The Settlements Food Pantry clients has doubled over the past year. We shared most of our community garden produce and the excess from our one market gardener to the food pantry to help out.
We have had a hard time finding equipment last year especially canning supplies. 16 qt presser canners were one of the most elusive items to find. We got started early this year to collect necessary materials to provide the best opportunities to our gardeners. We have already acquired most of what is needed. So far the main item we lack are regular size canning lids.
Now that the weather has finally settled down we are helping our gardeners plan what they would like to do. We are setting up appointments for those who need tilling done or just want a visit.
We are looking forward to serving our community and its gardeners throughout the coming year.