This was our first year with the Build it Up program! We had tried gardening in years past but to no avail! It has been wonderful to have classes with fellow gardeners in our area who understand the weather and the soil right where we live! The classes were so informative! I especially appreciated how they came out to our garden sites to give advice and see how we were doing- they truly want you to be successful and will help you get there!

We learned so much this year- through failures- but that’s how we learn right? 😉 First we did not put up a strong enough barrier around our garden so our chickens made themselves quite comfortable by eating all our freshly planted Kale and scratching all the hay off that was covering the soil (they were very helpful getting the garden ready as seen in the picture :)). We did one large raised-bed but did not kill enough grass around it so weeds were a constant issue. Our biggest struggle was that our plants appeared stunted in growth. We used the fertilizer, generously given to us through the program, so everything sprouted and looked beautiful at first but then it didn’t grow. This is where our garden visit really helped! They suggested we get a soil test and even sent it off for us!!! We found out there were several deficiencies that caused this lack of growth. Despite most of our plants not producing well due to the poor bagged soil we had purchased- our cherry tomatoes did amazing! With all these lessons learned I am excited and feel a bit more prepared for next year’s gardening. I am so thankful for the hard working ladies at the Build it Up program- for their dedication, encouragement, and genuine desire to help us learn how to grow food successfully. THANK YOU!!!