Happy Earth Day y’all! Leave a post in the comments on how you’ll be celebrating this day of recognition for Mother Earth. Today marks our 2nd blog post for Grow Appalachia: Upper Ohio Valley pilot season and we are so excited to share what we’ve been up to in the Northern Panhandle. 

Greetings from the Greenhouse

On April 6th, we distributed seeds out to our families spanning the four counties at two locations: The Family Resource Network in Weirton and the Grow Ohio Valley 14th Street Greenhouses right in downtown Wheeling. We had a beautiful day to distribute that felt like summer was just around the corner and had us ready to get our hands dirty!

Nightshades are Nigh

In addition to seeds being distributed, we are planning on distributing seedlings in the coming weeks. Some of our seedlings have been transplanted into bigger containers by an after-school program Grow Ohio Valley’s Education team works with. We offered nightshades such as tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers in our seed catalog for our families to have a headstart on these varieties. We offered a lot of different options including garden staples and some more experimental options for the brave of heart. 

Sand, Silt & Clay: Loam My!

We also hosted our second Zoom workshop over Garden Planting at the beginning of this month to help families wrap their heads around what they can feasibly grow and what will work best in their gardens. In addition, we covered reading a soil test for our participants, as it was most everyone’s first time doing so.

The WVU Extension Office is who we went through for our participants to do a soil test prior to planting to see what can be amended with fertilizer and nutrients already existing in the ground. For example, leafy greens will do best in a nitrogen laden soil, but root vegetables will have lush tops, but small roots to harvest. Soil tests are free for all 55 WV counties and can be mailed to your local extension office to figure out what’s going on beneath your feet.

Growing Forward

Our next workshop is scheduled for May 6th over Garden Maintenance. While it seems early in the season because most things aren’t in the ground yet, it’s good practice to know how to maintain a garden before you’re up to your ears in zucchini! We’ll keep our families updated to know when their plants are ready for pick up. In addition to our workshops, we have some ideas in the works to keep consistent learning resources available to y’all throughout the season so keep your eyes peeled for what’s in store next! 

See ya next time!