As a Master Gardener, I occasionally get called on to help others with their gardening concerns. I got a call from the County Agent the other day to see if I would be interested in a little project and said sure - I must provide at least 25 hours per year of community service to maintain my certification. For those not familiar with the MG program, it is basically a trained and organized group of volunteers that provide a full scope of gardening help to homeowners and institutions as a community service. This frees up the professionals in County Extension to work on bigger issues like serving the commercial farming community, 4-H, etc. I've always said if I can spend a couple of hours helping Aunt Millie with the problem on her single rose bush, that allows the County Agent to spend those two hours helping Farmer John with his 500 acres of tomatoes.
So back to the project. A church in Lenoir City, about 15 minutes from here, has decided to grow a vegetable garden and give the produce to the needy, as a community outreach program. They have a nice spot right on their grounds and plan to put in a one acre garden. Where do I come in – they are a group of enthusiastic, but mostly, non gardeners who are biting off a lot and need a coach. I met with them Monday night and spent about two hours giving them the basics for growing a successful garden – I think they now know enough to know what questions to ask. Since I decided I needed a year off from my own garden, I’ll be able to do it vicariously through them and be part of a worthwhile venture. I admire what they are attempting to do and want to help ensure they have a success.
So far, their biggest issue is getting a late start. They are treating for fire ants and still need to plow – ideally these would have been done in the fall. But they are planting only warm season crops and should have everything in the ground in late April, which will work fine, they’ll just have a lot of turned under sod to deal with. I'm sure this will be a good source of blogging material throughout the summer.
I took a few shots of Almost Heaven South the other day. A classical sign of spring is the forsythia. Another one around here are the redbuds, which hadn't opened when I took these.
The foreground is a patio peach and behind is a yoshino cherry.
When we built our home, bradford pears were popular, so we planted one. At the time I didn't realize how susceptible they were to damage. But ours has survived well and it's the biggest one I've seen - I specifically included the car for reference.
Wow record 85* here yesterday - hope we get back to spring soon. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.