It was a beautiful day in West Virginia on Sunday, May 5th, 2024: the sun was shining, and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. By Monday it was raining, and our gardens received a good drink of water to help them grow and thrive. Not too much, not too little, but just enough. Combined with the warmer days we’ve had, gardens seemed to suddenly grow inches in just a day or two.

One of our gardeners has already submitted three harvest reports: peas, green onions, and lettuce. He had planted early and covered things on the few nights that it got a little too cold for the plants. He’s really proud of his garden. Other gardeners waited a bit until they were sure the nights wouldn’t be too cold, but with the sun and rain, their gardens are sure to catch up quickly. They too, are proud of how their gardens look and have posted pictures of their gardens.

I have a special needs gardener who uses raised beds and containers to garden. He sometimes needs a little extra help, even if it’s just lots of questions on how to do things, but his garden shows his efforts and is thriving, and should give him a really good harvest.

I have another gardener who has never gardened before and was a little bit concerned about how well they might do. They’ve asked lots of questions, and Buck and I visited a couple of times to show them how to do things. Their garden is also thriving and shows that they are taking the information given and are using it. They should have a good harvest.

And as gardens start to come in, it’s also time to think of food preservation workshops. I’ve reserved the kitchen at a local church, contacted my Extension Agent, ordered food preservation equipment, and notified my gardeners to save the dates. We’ll have a couple of workshops: strawberry jam, and then salsa when the tomatoes and peppers are in. Food preservation workshops are a favorite with some of my gardeners, and they are always so proud to show off what they have preserved after these workshops.

The 2024 growing season is off to a good start, and so are our gardens; hopefully 2024 will prove to be a bountiful year.