Hi!  My name is Lydia Thurman, and I’m a rising sophomore at Duke University studying physics and math, and I’m in Whitesburg for the summer as part of the Robertson scholarship.  I’m interning with the Cowan Community Center, working particularly with its Grow Appalachia program.  

Beautiful lettuce patches in Cowan!

 Today and tomorrow we’re paying visit to each of our twenty eight gardens, checking up on progress and making sure everybody who needs it has access to the labor they need in order to till, weed, and plant in their plots.  Everybody we visited was proud of their gardens’ production, and excited to show us around.  Lettuce was in high supply, and a few of our gardeners were talking about selling some of their lettuce and mustard greens at Seedtime, a local arts festival coming up in a week.

The Soon-To-Be Daycare Garden.
Starting Monday we’re working with the kids involved with the Appalachian Early Childcare program, beginning with arts and crafts and sharing stories about the rich history of gardening in the Appalachian Mountains.  Then, through collaboration with some of the other gardeners in the program who have been really successful, we’re going to begin to plant in a plot the daycare center cleared recently.  The vegetables from the daycare’s garden will then be used for healthy daycare snack options and lunch/dinner events to pull together parents, children, and the daycare staff in collaborating and contributing to this communal garden.