The gray skies of winter are all but disappearing. The clocks have sprung forward, and Mother Earth is once again shifting toward the sun on her axis. Spring, in all her temperamental glory, has arrived in Appalachian Kentucky!

The daffodils, or Easter Flowers as I call them, have lifted their yellow heads to the sun and are giving way to the yellow of the forsythia. Redbuds and dogwood blooms are now signaling that crappie and white bass are running on the Buckhorn. My ground is being turned. The full moon has arrived, signaling that it’s time to plant those cool weather crops in the ground.   Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts are all going into the ground.  Beds are being prepped for that all time Appalachian staple – lettuce and onion beds.

While we still have to make it through Redbud Winter, Dogwood Winter and Blackberry Winter, we are now enjoying the warm spring nights. The singing of frogs and the calls of hoot owls and bobwhites fill the night air. A brief lull is in play before my spring planting begins in force.

The planning for the Grow Appalachia Farm To School project in Owsley County has begun.  Community garden meetings are underway. Plots are being assigned. participants are selecting seeds for community garden plots and home gardens. the community is anxious for the taste of home-grown local foods once again. The prospect of being out in the warm sun, feeling the earth under our feet while digging in with our hands to plant the food that will help sustain our families brings a peace and satisfaction to our otherwise busy lives that not only nourishes our body but replenishes our souls. It’s time to Grow Appalachia!