Here at Red Bird Mission we have been spending our time compiling 2011Grow Appalachia participant’s info into personalized folders putting gardens to bed and preparing for the 2012 growing season. We had been working on our proposal and timeline for next year and deciding exactly what all we could do with the Grow Appalachia program in 2012. Our hopes are high and our challenges are huge but with dedication and lots hard work, I am sure we will be successful.
We constructed four 4ft by 8ft raised beds and delivered them to the Girl Scout garden at Red Bird Mission School. Their garden will now consist of six 4ft by 8ft raised beds, and also a nine hundred sq.ft. plowed area and they intend on planting a 2000sq.ft pumpkin patch and will sell pumpkins at the Red Bird Farmers Market next year. This group of students are really showing great interest in gardening and are seeing the benefits of growing their own food as well as an opportunity to create income by marketing what they produce.
The Early Childhood Development garden (for 2-5 year olds) that we constructed this year has inspired a new curriculum to be added to their schedule.
P.L.A.N.N.T (Preschoolers Learning About Nature & Nutrition Together) is a garden enhanced curriculum designed for children three to five years of age and has three main goals.
  1. Increase children’s environmental awareness and stewardship through gardening and garden related activities.
  2. Increase children’s nutritional and health awareness through gardening and garden related activities.
  3. Increase children’s life skills and academic achievements and outcomes through gardening and garden related activities.
P.L.A.N.N.T will require that children be given 15min. each day to explore in their garden, Monday will be a garden check day where they will be assisted in finding any problems and trying to correct them and  a raw vegetable snack will be provided for the children to try each Friday.
This program will allow them a hands on learning setting that will greatly increase the children’s ability to utilize their class garden this spring and allow the Grow Appalachia staff an opportunity to work with them more often.
Anyone interested in this program can contact
Ruth Ann Shepard
Ky. Dept. of Public Health

Field worker,
Chad Brock