It’s only May and it feels like summer already, y’all! Looks like we’re past that frost date here in the Northern Panhandle, and our growing season here at Grow Ohio Valley is well underway! Let us know in the comments what you already have in the ground, and what you’re waiting to plant!

Heading Down the Highway

Grow Appalachia Upper Ohio Valley took a road trip over the past weekend down to where this program started, Berea College! It was a trip to pick up pallets of fertilizer that Grow Appalachia has as an option for organizations to distribute to families. We made the trek to the Bluegrass State in our box truck that has joined the Grow Ohio Valley family as a COVID-19 response.

Box Truck Beginnings

The box truck was originally leased for R2S, a program that began in the spring of 2020 partnering with local restaurants, Vagabond, Whisk, Sarah’s on Main, Rachel’s on 16th, Mugshots, as well as West Virginia Northern Community College, Ohio County Schools, and various other partners to deliver hundreds of meals each week to students. This program had many variations throughout its existence, from a multi-day distribution to direct donations at highrises and assisted living sites in Wheeling. This program has reduced meal deliveries since it’s inception, so we were able to use it for Grow Appalachia purposes.

Pallets for Our Pals

We ordered one pallet of fertilizer for our families in the Northern Panhandle counties, which wasn’t nearly enough to fill the back of our shipping container! We offered to bring the orders of Step by Step Big Ugly (2.5 pallets), Step by Step Logan (2 pallets) and Grow Wayne (2 pallets) as well. As we worked our way back up from Madison County, we dropped the pallets to its coordinating organization off along the way. Each pallet had 40 bags of fertilizer on them. This fertilizer was 3-4-3 of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, a well rounded blend for fertilizer depending on what your soil needs.

Agrarian Once Again

Grow Appalachia is reintroducing the family garden to the region. Gardening stems from agrarian lifestyles our ancestors led. These systems were incredibly communal and were a symbiotic relationship of helping your neighbor when they needed it and vice versa. We here in the Upper Ohio Valley try to practice the principle of helping out when we can and subsequently build community in the process. We’re happy to establish these  connections with some of the other participating organizations, and hopefully continue to be neighborly beyond our time in the program.

That’s all folks! See ya next time!