Dear WVU Extension community,
Gardening is often a rite of passage for many – a skill passed down from generation to generation. As a native West Virginian (my grandparents were original homesteaders in Arthurdale), gardening is very much a part of my heritage. Growing up, there were always contests for the best gardens and canned goods.
Today, my passion for gardening continues. During the summer and early fall, you’ll often find me canning a host of garden bounty, including a variety of my homemade pasta sauces (my family’s Italian!), pickles and jams. Not only does my family get to enjoy the fruits of my labor, but I enjoy sharing these items with neighbors, friends and others. I enjoy canning everything from bread and butter pickles to my Dad’s recipe for crispy hot peppers. His recipe remained a closely guarded secret until his later years. We have a sneaking suspicion his secret ingredient was sipped rather than added to the peppers. I still use Grammy Day’s applesauce recipe using cinnamon candy hearts to give it flavoring and its distinctive pink coloring.
Heritage is deeply woven into the fabric of our state. To celebrate that heritage, we showcase true West Virginia heritage fruits and vegetables in this edition of the garden calendar. You’ll also learn about seed saving, tending to your soil and other tips to build a beautiful garden.
We hope you enjoy this year’s calendar, appropriately titled, “Rooted in Our Heritage.” Best wishes for a bountiful 2020!
Sue Day-Perroots, Ed.D., Dean (Interim)