Community Interests in Grow Appalachia

First off, at the Wise County Extension office, we receive support from Grow Appalachia. This support helps fund our Grow Wise program, which helps many gardeners in the area. Recently there has been more interest in Grow Appalachia and this program. In fact, while on a site visit we had gotten many questions about the program and the possibilities of partaking in it. Additionally, these questions came from an individual who had recently acquired some farm land and wanted guidance on what to do with it. They have strong interests in forest farming and gardening. With this being said, we hope that they will join our Grow Appalachia program in the future and we would like to thank Grow Appalachia for their support and guidance.

Virginia Master Naturalist Monthly Hike

Once a month, the Virginia Master Naturalist organizes a group hike in different areas of Wise County. This month, I had the opportunity to join them on a hike at High Knob in Norton, Virginia. Furthermore, this was very interesting and I learned a lot of valuable information from this group. Our hike was led by a graduate student who teaches climatology at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. With this being said, he was very knowledgeable about the environment, birds, insects, plants, and many other topics. I enjoyed interacting and building connections with Virginia Master Naturalists. In the future, I hope to work with them more on some other projects.

Tree Tapping

Currently, tree tapping has become an interest all over Wise County. Tree tapping is when you use a spout to funnel sap out of the tree and into buckets. This process is surprisingly very simple and inexpensive. In this area, many people tap sugar maple trees. However, walnut trees are also very common and can be tapped. After collecting the sap, you make syrup by simply boiling the excess water from the sap. As you can tell, this process is surprisingly simple and easy to follow. Furthermore, tapping trees does not harm them or the environment in any way if done correctly. Overall, this is an easy way to use natural resources to make tasty homemade syrup.