What a wonderful surprise to arrive at the garden and see that the youth from Black Mountain Home had covered all our cardboard pathways with 3 – 4 inches of wood chips! After many Saturdays spent cutting and laying cardboard in our pathways to help control weeds, it was gratifying to see it all covered. After decomposing for a year these wood chips will serve as mulch for next year’s garden.
Jane urgent “call to hoes” to plant 500 sweet potato slips brought together a wonderful group of gardeners from several different faith communities. We were blessed with people from Warren Wilson Presbyterian, Swannanoa Presbyterian, Isight Church that meets on the Home’ s campus, and Black Mountain Presbyterian. Ann brought her friend Carlson, a long time farmer from Yancey County that currently spends the majority of the year in Belize. Michael Poulos, Joe, Bren and Quinn Dendy, and Sandy Reid from First Pres rounded out the work force for the day.
While a few folks patiently weeded and thinned part of the existing garden, the majority of gardeners started hoeing up long ridges of soil in our adjacent half acre field. While some folks continued to make ridges, other started planting sweet potato slips. Water from the nearby creek was mixed with fish emulsion to give each slip a little bit of moisture and organic fertilizer. Hoers, planters, and waterers worked the rows for almost two hours. We wondered if someone had really counted out 500 slips and came to believe we had more as more rows had to be added. With so much help we were able to get everything planted in time to close with a prayer of thanksgiving and hope for our garden to flourish.