Well, we're on our way here in Rockcastle Co. The local community has welcomed us and is showing support to our endeavors. The Healthy Communities group has contributed $2,400.00 to a community garden site. This site needs major work and will be a secondary site this year as work progresses on soil building, putting in raised beds, and installing a demonstration garden on a small portion of the site. The site adjoins our Farmer's Market site and will be an attractive addition to the local landscape. The high school FFA is building a tool storage shed to go on site with much of the lumber donated by Cummins Lumber - a local lumberyard. The shed roof will be set up for rain water catchment using barrels purchased through our PRIDE coordinator. One of the garden benches we received will go to this site while the other will stay at the second community garden site at the ASPI office & demonstration center. The ASPI site will be our primary community garden site this first year. It seems the community garden idea is not as popular as home gardens in this rural area, though with the interest of the Mayor and several other local agencies we hope that a year of demonstration will make this a popular idea.
We have reached our full participant capacity and are daily turning away folks who would like to join up. The early full sign up is thanks in part to the attention we have received in the local paper - The Mt. Vernon Signal - and the fact that the local schools sent home Grow Appalachia announcements with students. At this time we are preparing to set up a waiting list in the event any openings appear and for 2013 additions.
We have had good attendance at our first two workshops. The first workshop speaker was a local market gardener who talked about her no-till, intensive, organic farming practices. Our local CES ag agent spoke at our second workshop along with a local wildcrafter. Lots of question and audience participation at both.
Home visits are just beginning to get underway. More on that next time.