Hello from Build It Up in East Tennessee! We are steadily enjoying this new summer weather as we prepare to start harvesting some yummy crops this month. Our gardeners have been learning all about pest control in May and will start learning about disease control in June. Luckily, we’ve had some much needed rain in the past few days that has helped give our plants a boost. We’re looking forward to seeing gardener’s crops grow, grow, grow!

Gardener Spotlight Story:

A first year gardener, named Kitty Michael, shares her story:

“Hi, garden buddies! My name is Kitty Michael and this is my family’s first year in the Build It Up program. This is also our first year with a true garden. I (along with my husband, Bobby, and my teenager, Oz) am looking forward to all the goodies we can grow.

We have spent the last few weeks building raised beds using found wood. The challenge was to do this completely with reclaimed wood. I try to live with a reuse/repurpose/repair goal in all aspects of my life. This goal was not an easy one in this project. But, with the help of Buy Nothing groups on Facebook, we now have multiple raised beds and shingles to suppress the weeds between the beds.

I have started collecting jars, lids, and rings to be ready for canning our harvest. This will be my first time canning, as well. Great granny canned on a wood stove in her small house in late summer, so I am hoping for a much easier (and less sweltering) experience than she had. I have used home canned tomatoes in almost every meal for years. It is time I had jars of my own fruits.

I am inspired on this new gardening journey by my great granny and great aunt (who I share a great resemblance with) who had a huge garden when I was a child. My great gran could point her finger and tell a carrot to spring up, and it just might! I thought she could probably tell the creek to run backward and it would. I may never know all that she knew, but I am going to learn as much as I can and teach my teenager, too.”


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