Today Matthew and Tyler, two of our workers, and I had planned to help the kids from the Daycare plant their garden.  They have a small garden just outside of the daycare building, where the kids can watch it grow each day.  Today, we were surprised by a group of 10 volunteers, who are studying Social Work at The University of Wisconsin who offered to help with the garden.  It was a scorching hot day and it was just perfect for planting a garden and playing in the water!  The children thoroughly enjoyed digging in the dirt and planting the plants. One little girl said, “I help mommy plant at home”, she then proceeded to take over the project, she explained that plants need water and water comes from the sky. Then she looks around and asks, “Where we get water today?” Ms. Pat, the head daycare teacher, told her, “From the building, we will bring it out in buckets.”  It took about four buckets of water, and the kids were delighted with the finished project.  In the picture below, Matthew is planting a tomato plant with one of the boys from the daycare.     
This is Ray’s garden, located in the Frakes area of Bell County. This is Ray’s second year as a participant in the grow Appalachia Project. The day we were there it was a scorching 95 degrees.  Ray has a variety of plants in his garden, corn, tomatos, and more.  As you can see in this picture, Ray has figured out a way to irrigate his garden during these hot days. He has an overflow pipe attached to a spring in his yard which he redirects as needed to water his garden.  He has been gardening for many years and so he has it down to a science.  The irrigation system will help in the overall scheme, especially since rain has been so scarce in June.  This is a picture of Ray’s irrigation system that waters his garden during the hot Kentucky summer.   
Finally, we have Frankie’s garden.  Frankie is a second year participant in the Grow Appalachia program.  She has a large garden that her husband and children help her with.  Though Frankie has been gardening since she was a little girl, she says that she has learned infinately more through the program.  She has attended the Basic Gardening Class, Hybrid Tomato Class, and Canning Class.  She feeds her immediate family and several of her extended relatives.  She comes from a large family, 10 siblings, who all live relatively close and work together to better their lives. This is a picture of Frankie’s beautiful garden!