Monday, April 30, 2012

Farmer's Market and Cabbages at St Vincent Mission

It has been a very busy few weeks here in David, KY with lots of things starting up due in part to the Vision Planning on Sustainable Agriculture hosted by St Vincent Mission the end of March. I attended a great meeting of people interested in the Floyd County Farmer’s Market at the Extension Office. The market manager is Todd Howard, the mentor for our Green House Mentoring Program with the David School students. Todd called the meeting to get some input from producers and consumers so that the Farmer’s Market members can make decisions as to date, time and place for the third year of the market. While only one new producer came to the meeting, there were several consumers who were willing to start a “Friends of the Market” group and one person who came as a consumer and decided that she might be able to grow enough on her property to sell.

Speaking of growing enough to sell, I did a home visit the other day with a participant interested in the Farmer’s Market, that was wonderful. When I met James at the gate to his property, he asked me how long I had been in Kentucky. I said seven years and he replied, “You ain’t never been to a place like my place” and off we went to his property in the middle of a reclaimed strip mine. When we got to the acre he planned on using for his garden, we got to talking about his soil and what he had been doing to add organic matter and such. He has put in over 200 pickup truck size loads of manure and he and his six kids have pulled out several tons of rocks. “They grow in there” he remarked about the rocks and I have heard that from several of my gardeners. 

Raised beds are probably not deep
enough to store these cabbages.

What I hadn’t heard before is how his daddy stores cabbages. James told me that he had plowed the garden spot real deep this time for his cabbages. When I asked him why he said, “to store them”. It seems that when the cabbages are ready to harvest, his father pulls them out, root and all, digs a hole where the cabbage was, puts it back in the hole head first, covers it with plastic, then covers them with dirt leaving the root exposed. James says they stay good all year and that burying them makes them sweeter. This is one harvesting method I am going to have to follow up on.

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