Our site, Northfork Local Food, is so excited to welcome new gardeners into our growing program this year!  We expanded to serve Leslie and Perry counties.  We have several returning participants, and I am so thankful that we are growing our garden family.  So far, we have 36 participants.  We are working closely with extension to ensure we are prepared for the garden season!  Michelle Brock with the Leslie County Extension Office kicked off the first meeting of the year with garden planning basics.  We also reviewed soil sample collection and planned a community seed swap for our March meeting.

Weather delayed our first Perry county meeting, but we gathered in February for introductions and pea seeds!  Participants were interested in creating a seed library for our Grow Appalachia Garden Program, and I cannot agree more!  This year, we are providing an equipment library to make gardening and food processing tools more accessible.  Folks can complete a request to have resources “checked-out” for a period of time.  Last year we struggled to meet the tilling needs of new gardeners, so I hope this offers participants flexibility and a learning experience.

I am overjoyed that our Leslie Garden Group is working to develop a weekly farmers market! So far, they have secured a location.  I hope to have more to report on that next time!  It’s a new year, with new gardeners and new friends!  It has the potential to be a fruitful year, indeed!