Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

April 28, 2013

Lawrence-made products and know-how on display

Limited gardening space not a problem, workshop attendees learn

Sarah Beckelheimer
For The Independent

FALLSBURG — Participants at weekend workshops in Lawrence County learned about gardening and nature and took home some homemade favorites.

The Lawrence County Extension Office conducted the workshops at the Kentucky Roots farm in Fallsburg. They included “Growing More With Less,” featuring container gardening with strawberries, as well as classes on birds, butterflies and wildflowers.

Jerrie Cossett is the owner of Kentucky Roots. She said one misconception people have about gardening is it takes a large yard to achieve.

“Anyone who came today can take this information home and produce the majority of their food even if they have limited space to work with,” Cossett said.

Chris Hunter is a gardener in Lawrence County. He said the workshops helped him better understand plants native to the county. “There’s a lot of knowledge you can pick up here and take back with you to others in the community.”

Along with the workshops, local vendors sold their foods produced throughout the county, including farm-fresh eggs, maple syrup, jellies and jams.

Cossett said she was happy to see residents learning what local vendors have to offer.

“Why go to Walmart and get honey or jam when it’s available a mile down the road?” Cossett asked.

Keith Moore and his wife, Jennifer, had a booth at the event. They run a store at Savage Farms in Fallsburg where they sell maple products from trees tapped on their farm.

“We make maple butter right here on the farm,” Moore said. “It’s good on a hot biscuit.”

Following the workshops, a lunch was hosted by Stephanie Derefield, Lawrence County’s family and consumer science extension agent. The meal included herbs featured in a cooking class earlier in the day.

Julia Rollins is the county extension agent for agriculture and natural resources. She said she hopes the event will grow into something bigger.

“Anything we can do to help promote local products is definitely a good thing,” Rollins said.

SARAH BECKELHEIMER is a freelance writer and Morehead State University student.