Hi. My name is Sr. Kathy Curtis and I have the privilege of being the new Grow Appalachia Program Manager for St. Vincent Mission. I have been interested in the program since David Cooke first brought it to Floyd County but I was on sabbatical for a year in preparation to become a Benedictine Sister so I had to stay on the sidelines. I was envious of first Joanne and then Gary as they brought Grow Appalachia to the hills and hollers of our beautiful countryside. Envy wasn’t very beneficial to my new calling however so I worked in the monastery’s raised beds and gleaned all the knowledge I could from the program. I served fresh lettuce, peas and onions in the spring, beamed with pride at my first harvest dinner of new potatoes, green beans and fried green tomatoes (with cornbread of course) and mourned my tomatoes when the blight hit them. It was a wonderful way to spend a summer.
At the end of my sabbatical year I had to start thinking about finding a job. Imagine my delight when I found out the Program Manager’s position was opening up here at the Mission. I had the privilege of meeting some of our families at the end of season harvest dinner and ate some wonderful fixings—the best sweet potatoes and corn pudding I have ever had!
So I am hitting the road running signing up families, looking for locations for community gardens and trying to get my foot in the door of the elementary schools. I have so many ideas but I know I don’t have to invent the wheel because y’all already have it working. Any advice you want to pass my way-especially on community gardens and farmers markets-please feel free. I can be reached at growappal@hotmail.com. I look forward to growing with you.
Peace. Sr. Kathy