Happy Spring, y’all! Despite the snow last weekend, it’s really starting to feel like Spring here in Wheeling. I’m only wrapping up my first week at Grow Ohio Valley, but already I’m so excited for the second year of our Backyard Gardeners program. As I get oriented to the program, I’ve been hearing so much about what’s already been done, as well as what’s still to come. For instance, I know the team has already been hard at work recruiting participants, running their first workshop, and getting seeds and supplies ordered. In addition to all that, our team has also decided to construct a teaching garden here at the Grow Ohio Valley Meadow farm.
As part of my orientation this week I got to take a tour of our new Show and Tell learning garden and see what’s in store. On a beautiful early Spring Friday, our farm guy, Tapah, showed us around the plot of land that will soon become our new learning garden. The garden will be used for gardening workshops in addition to being open to self-guided tours. From when you walk in the gate, Tapah envisions a container garden on one side, and a potato tower on the other. (I’m proud to say I contributed to the construction of the container garden by drilling many holes in many buckets this week.) In the center, the now empty teepee will become host to colorful pole beans. Beyond that, there will be beds used to display various methods of pest control, frost control, and leaf composting. When it’s all done, there should be eight stations, each with a corresponding workshop for our gardeners. We spent time discussing what should be planted in the beds, and are thinking about corn, pumpkins, and coup beans. Finally, the archway at the back gate will grow mini butternut squash, next to trellised tomatoes. There’s still much to be done, from constructing the stations to planting seeds to designing signage for self-guided tours, but it’s certainly coming along nicely!
We also have a lot coming up in addition to working on our Show and Tell garden. This week we’ll be packing our seed order to distribute to our participants, which should be especially fun since I haven’t met any of them yet! We’ll also be distributing some tools, collecting soil samples, and at the end of the week we’ll be filming a video explaining how to choose the right tool for the right task. So much is going on and we’re just getting started!