Sneak peek

Here’s a sneak peek under the row covers thanks to Atticus jumping through them!

Hopefully, you can make out what’s going on… 



 un-mulched area is germinating lettuces, turnips and more greens 

 green sprout is garlic (and a little rye sprouting from the straw) 

 green blades are garlic sprouts 

 this guy was under the plastic! Welcome to our garden!


Garlic and greens under cover

Not much is going on at the moment because of this:

 That’s what we got Wednesday night. Highly unlikely that our area is under drought conditions any more!

Aside from a row of carrots and oodles of potatoes that we are over wintering, here is all that’s happening so far for our fall prep: 

 – not a ton of stuff, but tucked in under those covers are our garlic cloves and a row of lettuces, greens, and turnips. 

Hopefully, we’ll have some drying of the soil and can resume raised bed construction.


Agriculture in the Classroom

I serve as record keeper and director on the board for SO Fresh.

Southwest Virginia Fresh (SO Fresh) is an all-volunteer, 501c3 nonprofit, community service association devoted to bringing consumers & producers and other local foods organizations together to actively elevate and promote a thriving local foods economy throughout Southwest Virginia.

One area of interest that SO Fresh has been active in is “Youth in Agriculture.” Our Advisory Board began this long-term initiative to develop in youth an understanding of how and where food is grown/produced AND to prepare youth to be gardeners and potential future farmers.

Currently, SO Fresh is partnering with Dublin Middle School and is seeking funding for the creation of an educational module centered on an indoor, classroom garden (aka Agriculture in the Classroom). This garden would allow students to grow herbs, tomatoes, leafy greens, and other suitable crops while learning and executing good agricultural concepts (hands on applications) and meeting core curriculum requirements. Students will achieve a true “from seed to kitchen to table” experience by taking crops that they grow to the Family and Consumer Sciences kitchens for preparation of healthy recipes for consumption by the student body.

Successful creation of this module will allow for its dissemination to and utilization by other classrooms / school systems throughout Southwest Virginia. This concept also complements the recent commitment to the farm to school initiative made by the Pulaski County Public School System.

Please take a moment and visit SO Fresh’s donation page to learn more and perhaps support this effort. Thanks!


Learning Library

A confession – I know nothing about farming. I never grew up on a farm. I never even lived close to a farm (until I came to Virginia Tech).

A fair question to ask a farmer is how did you become a farmer? For me…it is something that I always wanted to do, likely stemming from a complete fascination with nature as a whole. As a kid, I grew cacti and houseplants. I didn’t have my first vegetable garden until college…when I finally rented a house that had a yard. I dug up a plot by hand and planted my first seeds.

But how do you take simple curiosity to the next level?

  • That is where we are lucky to live in an area rich with agricultural “know-how” and happenings. Whether through the local extension offices, the university, or regional foods organizations, we’ve been fortunate to be able to participate in several workshops and educational/hands-on seminars.
  • Farm tours are invaluable and highly recommended.
  • Asking questions of area growers is essential. It is remarkable to me open and sharing every farmer we talk to is!
  • Of course, the internet has amazing resources at our very finger tips.
  • Finally, there are numerous books out there that have excellent information.

The off season is a perfect time to reflect, revisit, and refine ideas. It is when I turn to the books and written word for inspiration.

Here is a glimpse of my “learning library” in case it might help another potential farmer:

Learning Library

Learning Library