Sunday, January 27, 2013

Scott County Grow Appalachia

 Gardening in January 

What can we do in the garden in January?  Even though it might seem like there is nothing to do since it's so cold outside, there are many things we can be doing to prepare for our garden.   

.  Start planning your garden by drawing a map of your garden.  Rework where things were planted last year that might need to be moved to a better location.  Also use crop rotation.  Don't plant things in the same place year after year.  

. Start looking through all those seed catalogs that are flooding your mail box.

.  Choose to grow something new that you have never grown  before. 

.  Take a Garden Class 

.  Clean all your garden tools using a five gallon bucket filled half full with sand, then mix in some motor oil. Keep this on hand all year. After using your tools make a habit of running them up and down in the sand mix to clean the soil off the tool. It also keeps them from rusting.  Use linseed oil on your wooden handles. Dip a cloth in the linseed oil and rub the wooden handles well. If the handles have been neglected for awhile, it may need several coats of linseed oil. 

. Build a cold frame. so that you can get your seeds started early. 

.  Now is a good time to get your tiller, lawn mower, weed eater tuned up and ready for the upcoming year. 
. Turn compost. If you don’t have a compost area, now would be a great time to create one.

. Take inventory of your canning jars; inspect them carefully to make sure there are no chips on the rims. Throw out any damaged ones. Your rings can be used year after year. Toss any that may be rusted.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Is this corn for me or you? :Tina

We planted some corn for chicken feed but it seems that the wild turkey like it as well. So we decided to leave some for them to eat this winter. It is so pleasurable to watch them walk in a straight line headed for the corn field once or twice a day.

 They fly up into the stalks and bend the ear of corn down and eat. At last count we have 21 turkeys. We have decided to grow some extra every year both for them to eat and for our entertainment. Due to the freeze that we had early this year, there are no acorns in the woods for the deer to eat so they to have been eating the corn.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

high tunnel

 Last Thursday and Friday our member's Iris, Jay and their children got their high tunnel.  Several of us came to help.  We lucked out with the weather.  It was really great to work with Mark and Mike to put it up.  We were able to feed them several things for lunch both days from our garden too.  We can't wait to see what Iris will plant this winter and how it does.  Thanks Grow Appalachia!!!!  Sue Granger   ps We are still growing greens like no bodies business and they are fabulous!!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Henderson Settlement/White Oak News ~ Jackie

Charles from White Oak planted Fall Cabbage,
October was an extremely busy month, we were busy visiting gardens, planting cover crops, going to classes and making plans for our Harvest Celebration.

Aaron invited Carol Brandon from the U.T extension office to speak about drying foods and using a food dehydrator. The participants had a lot of questions for Carol about canning and drying foods.
One of the questions was, " What is the best way to can green beans? " Carol told them , "the best way to can green beans is with a pressure cooker!" This started a discussion on, Grandma's way of canning verses the safest way to can. Carol shared a story of what could happen if green beans or any other food wasn't canned properly. She said one of her colleagues uses a film which shows what happened to an entire family after they ate green beans which had been canned (Grandma's way) over an open fire outside.  The film opens with a picture of a grave yard showing eight tombstones all with the same family name and date of death. The caption reads, "Botulism kills an entire family!"
This example emphasized the point she was trying to make about the importance of being able to regulate temperatures when canning.
Carol showed the class how to use a food dehydrator and provided examples of different foods which she had dehydrated, bananas , apples, grapes, squash, orange peels etc..  The class enjoyed sampling the examples and recipes she shared with them. She recommended the book "So easy to Preserve" published by the Cooperative Extension of the University of Georgia. She said this was one of the best books she had seen about canning and drying foods.

Carol Brandon from the U.T. Extension Office conducts a class on Food Dehydrating at White Oak

It was such a beautiful day we decided to move outside for the class!

Pat studies

Pictures from Tim's garden at Fonde
At Tim's garden in Fonde KY

Green Pepper plants

Aaron tilling the garden, getting it ready for Tim to plant his cover crop

Pictures from our Harvest Celebration

All week the weather was wonderful and then came Saturday, rain, rain, rain and COLD!
These conditions forced us to move the celebration inside

Jesse and Polly coloring with the kids

Someone brought canned pickles! Yum Yum!

Shonda and Aaron showing off their cooking skills

 Jane , Jennette and Lois

Shonda cooking hamburgers

Maggie ,Amy enjoying the celebration

Looking at the picture slide show


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Go Greens!

Hello from the LMU Organic Community Garden! It's been a fantastically busy October for us. We've been harvesting our fall crops and having parties! We held our annual fall festival here at the garden on October 13th. It was the most lovely autumn day you could imagine. Our gorgeous setting here at the base of the Cumberland Mountains, beautiful blue skies, and mild weather set the perfect scene for great food, goofy fun and games, and wonderful fellowship amongst our dedicated gardeners. Our food theme this year was "Soup from the Garden". And trust me, it was good eating! We had vegetable soups, kale/potato based soups, beefy stews, bean soup, and more. It was truly a showcase of what you can do with your harvests. The younger members (and the older ones, too!) enjoyed a hayride, scavenger hunt, pumpkin carving, a bonfire complete with marshmallows, and more. It was a truly awesome way to relax and enjoy all that we have accomplished this past year.
As the rest of the garden winds down, our field of cold weather crops is overflowing with green goodness. We planted a variety of these crops and they are thriving. We have three types of turnips, two types of collards, three types of kale, two types of mustard greens, tat soi (an Asian mustard green), spinach, two types of arugula, multiple varieties of radish, lettuce, parsley, two types of broccoli, cauliflower,  two types of brussel sprouts, and cabbage. We've been harvesting greens for over a month and the rest of the crops will soon be ready for harvest.  We have harvested 200 lbs sweet potatoes.  Harvested on Monday the last of our green tomatoes about 20 lbs. Also harvested all our pumpkins and winter squash.  Sue came up with a new pumpkin bread recipe substituting shredded green pumpkin for zuchinni from  a "zuchinni bread recipe"


Dear blog readers,

We are happy to announce that Grow Appalachia now has its own website, and a beautiful one at that! From now on blogs will be posted under the blog tab on the main website, so head on over to check it out and don't think we have abandoned the blog, new posts will keep coming, just in a different location!

The new Grow Appalachia website, give it a look:

Beautiful Beans

Post by Jessica | Photos by Corissa
Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program

This year we planted another round of heirloom dry beans.  While dry bean production on our site isn't necessarily economically efficient, it's a good practice for several reasons.  Beans, peas, and other legumes fix nitrogen in our soil, but this is just one of the reasons we include a variety of legumes in our cover crop schedule.

We also love dry beans for their extended shelf life. These beans, once dried correctly, are storable for one or even several seasons. Leftover beans can even be planted the following June to produce again and save on seed costs. Beans can be prepared in many different ways, they provide a nutritious protein, and also serve as a great locally grown meal in the dead of winter!

One more reason that we are crazy about these heirloom beans is that they are simply beautiful and maybe even a little magical!  I love nothing more than walking past the bean patch as pods are drying on the plants and plucking one off. Shelling them is such a treat! Each bean, while still its own specific variety, is completely different and special in its own way. Their colors and spots develop as they mature, and it's so fun to compare beans from the same pod, noting the differences and similarities. I must admit that I can't help but wonder if one of these beans could contain the same magic as the beans that Jack planted in the old fable. I guess we will keep on growing them, just in case.:)

Varieties grown this year included Vermont Cranberry, Jacob's Cattle, Calypso, Black Turtle, and Hidatsa Shield Beans. We have been working with these varieties for several years and are very pleased with them for flavor and productivity. One of the best varieties I have grown (though I didn't this year) is Arikara Yellow. The flavor is amazing, and we plan to get those in the ground next year.  Cow Peas and Cream Peas are also lovely dry beans to think about planting.

Shelling dry beans is quite time consuming but can be a really nice group activity.  Last year we utilized a mechanical sheller from the University of Kentucky, but this year we got a group of ladies and kiddos together and shelled beans for a few hours on several chilly fall mornings. Good times!