This time of year always has so many delights–butterflies fluttering, birds singing, plants waking up after their winter sleep, even “weeds” decorating our yards in shades of purple, white, and yellow, and budding trees and flowers that indicate that there is more hope to come. Each passing day is getting longer and brighter, making it easier to hold onto them.
Our families in the program are getting excited and looking forward to planting. Over the last month, we were able to get gardens tilled, receive soil tests, recommend soil amendments, and set up infrastructure for our future plants. We handed out tools to set up trellises, to weed, and finally seeds! Our families will be picking up their additional seeds and starter tomato, basil, red bee balm, and pepper plants later this month. All of the preparations and hard work we have taken so far remind me of the good things to come, as images of flourishing and fruiting gardens come to mind.
We hosted our latest workshop over Garden Planting, where we covered soil amendments, planting times, weed management, and a highly anticipated section over composting. Our gardeners left with supplies and their own 2L composting bottle, to watch composting happen in real time through the “lasagna” method of adding soil, fresh materials, and leaves. We are so grateful to the Anderson County Master Gardeners and UT Extension staff who lead us through this activity and education.
With the winter ending, so has our Indoor Winter Farmers Market, and we are shifting solely to online orders through Market To Go. We are also gearing up for the 2023 Lavender Festival in June, where we will have a smoothie bike for kids to power their own fruit and veggies smoothies. We created a Facebook group for our participants to connect and share resources and are having a potluck style meeting at our next garden workshop. We are really looking forward to hearing stories from our gardeners about what their favorites have been so far throughout the season. There is so much excitement to come!