Every spring we hold graduations, but is spring a time for endings or new beginnings?

Graduation or Renewal?

Every spring we hold graduations for people who are finishing up their years of schooling, but spring is also a time of new beginnings. As gardeners, we plant young plants into the soil and allow the sun and water to grow them up into strong, healthy plants and that plant’s graduation time is in the fall of the year. Our gardeners look forward to that time of graduation and then rest from the harvest and preservation of their harvest. That’s the graduation for a gardener. Now, in our Spring, we are focused on beginnings and renewal.

Our newest gardeners are taking off into this new season and planting everything they can get their hands on. It’s a time of anticipation and excitement for most.

So far, we’ve given them the tools to work their soil, supplement and fertilize it, and the plants, seeds, & netting needed to grow outward and upward in their soil. They’ve generously shared their tips, tricks, and joy of gardening through their pictures and stories of what is growing.

Mike and Joyce VanHoose

Mike and Joyce have done an amazing job of weed control in their garden! They’ve covered the soil in black plastic and planted through it, making the most of their time by NOT having to weed the garden. Looking good!!

Tammy & Randy Haney

Tammy and her husband Randy have discovered the joy of Hortanova fencing in their garden. They have a beautiful garden and definite green thumbs and now they’ve found an easier method of trellising their vining plants. Pay attention to their vertical successes this summer!

Glenna Robinson & Kenneth Bradley

Glenna Robinson and her son Kenneth Bradley have 3 large gardens between them that they maintain. They feed five families with the produce from these gardens and are always generous in giving neighbors, friends, and strangers extras along the way. They’re also Market Gardeners and have found the Farmers Markets in the area to be a great place to sell some extra vegetable plants and produce to supplement their incomes. Just ask Glenna how much extra she makes in a summer selling produce and then ask her how much she cans for her family!! She has an amazing storage cellar full of her canned goods!

Elaine Burton and Karen Salyer

Elaine and Karen have raised bed gardens that are really a delight to behold!! Raised bed gardens grow just enough for a family to enjoy and share a little with friends.

I’ve seen Elaine expand hers this year and I like to tease that raised beds are the gateway to bigger and better things and I see it happening!

Karen & Freddie might be officially retired, but I think they’re busier than the average retirees. Raised beds are perfect for retirees. They’re manageable and easy to tidy up.

KC Moore 

KC has a love for gardening and old cars in his retirement years. The gardening enjoyment is quite evident, but we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for the appearance of an old car or two. He has plenty of room for long rows of of veggies in this garden!

Shannon & Teresa Shepherd

Shannon and Teresa have been gardening for a number of years now and they’re doing a great job! They make use of their flat spaces, their vertical areas, as well as front flower/veggie beds, and pots/container gardening!! If ever their was a great utilization of space, this is it! They even have an in ground cellar for storing their extras! Art teachers always have an eye for detail!

Bea & Don Howard 

Bea & Don are Market Gardeners to the max! Bennette has a commercial kitchen where she processor her extra produce into canned goods to sell at market. She also makes great cakes and candies that bring folks coming back week after week. Her gardens are scattered around her property and at her brothers property along with his bees. She has a great market following and places her goods at Treasures on Main in Paintsville. She does 3-4 farmers markets a week and bakes and cans on her “off” days. Haa! Off Days!

Cajun Chef Chris (Fleniken)

Chris hails from Louisiana and has a love for HOT PEPPERS!! He adds them to everything he makes into value-added products. They have a depth of taste that is delicious, although I’m not a fan of hot things. I’ve never not enjoyed sampling his salsas, BBQ sauces, or pickles that he talks us into trying. He’s a market gardener with an eye for value-added cuisine. His talents don’t stop with food tho. He’s a blacksmith and a jeweler. Some of the products he sells are hand honed chefs knives and custom jewelry that he crafts. His blends of hot spice rubs are great for burgers and meatloaf and the list goes on.

Last but not least are a few pictures of last months transplanting tips from Dianna Reed our 4H Agent, Colorado Potato Beetle Beater spray (Spinosad) that we’re giving out this month, and a funny saying that makes me chuckle every time I read it. Enjoy!