June was an exciting month for us. Gardens were planted with summer crops, cole crops were being harvested and goats ran loose on the Red Bird campus. Seriously, never a dull moment.
One of my favorite things is when my members share their garden photos. Both my RBM Agriculture Facebook page and my email are filled with pictures of cabbages, green beans, broccoli, etc.
Growing a garden fills people with pride and a sense of accomplishment. Sometimes I like to promote competition among my members. My latest is who has the biggest blackberries.
As the Economic Opportunities Director, I am always looking for a chance to help people bring more income into their homes. I’ve done this by encouraging members to sell at the farmers market. Or even get their Better Home Processing or Microprocessing certification or egg handlers license. Baked goods, jams, and jellies, and soon, fresh eggs will fill the tables at the market.We have several new people joining us this season. Our first market was on June 25th. We had a really good turnout.
I expect our next market to be much better. The green beans are ready to pick and that’s what everyone is waiting for, and when the tomatoes hit, it will be Katie bar the door! Everyone is waiting on fresh garden tomatoes.
As I mentioned I am always looking for entrepreneurs. My latest is a young man who loves his chickens. His dad is a new GA member this year. I’m so excited to be featuring his eggs at our Certified Roadside Market and soon I hope he will be joining us at the farmers market.
Red Bird Mission really likes to help entrepreneurs, especially young ones. We are currently looking into ways that we can help him realize his dreams.
Now I guess you’re wondering about the goats. During my first year here as the Grow Appalachia Coordinator, I was contacted by a gentleman named Bill Patterson from Kanas. He had Boer goats he wanted to donate as breeding stock for local residents. He brought in about 20 goats and we adopted them out mainly to my Grow Appalachia members. During the pandemic, Mr. Patterson and his wife Kathy were not able to visit us but finally, I got a call. Bill wanted to bring more goats for our community members.
The day finally arrived and the goats were here. People came from all over to adopt these beautiful goats. Most of the goats were rescued animals so Bill and Kathy fattened them up and had them vet checked and headed to Kentucky. I spent weeks corresponding with future goat owners making sure the animals would go to the very best homes. The day arrived and a line of traffic waited for their chance to pick out a goat.
There were 2 escapees while the goats were here. One was caught fairly quickly, but the other is still on the loose. I guess she had enough of riding in a trailer. She slipped out between Bill’s legs, dodged my interns, and hit the hills! Since then no one has really been able to get close to her. We hope to get her caught and to her new home soon. However, it’s not looking good.
So if you’re visiting our farmers market and think you hear a goat bleating in the distance, you probably are. She’s happily devouring the local kudzu, living her best life right now.