I think that my favorite part of the Grow Appalachia Program at St. Vincent Mission is home visiting. When asked by people what I like about living in Kentucky, I always say, “the people, they are so friendly”. When you drive down the holler roads people on the side of the road wave to you…and make sure they know where you are going so they can tell their neighbor later. I mean friendly is good but so is watching out for your neighbors. Sorry, I got off track.
Seward and his tomatoes

 Anyway, I did some home visiting the other day and as usual the experience was delightful. First I stopped at Wanda and Seward Allen’s house to drop off some spinosad and a sprayer. Of course, I had to come in and set a spell. Wanda has some leg problems so she doesn’t get out in the garden much anymore but she can see it from her chair and she keeps an eye out for Seward, her husband while he works in the morning. She had told Seward that morning that I was coming over and shouldn’t he change his clothes. His response—these are my working clothes and I been working. And there you have it.

Seward showing me the difference between the goose beans
and the half-runners
We took a walk in the garden to see his potatoes and check out some cabbages that he thinks might be cauliflower instead. He said he doesn’t have bugs in his garden because every morning he “takes a little bit of water in a pan and puts some fertilize in it and just shakes the vine a little and them bugs just fall right off”. When I told him I had heard dishwashing liquid would do the same thing he said, “you don’t say.” But I don’t think he will change his way of doing it.
Buddy the dog at the end of the cabbages
Like most of the gardeners in our program, he has his ways but is somewhat open to suggestions and new ways of doing things. He showed me how he stakes his tomatoes and when I suggested using old nylons instead of twine he was all for it, especially when I told him I had a bunch at the Mission I could give him. He and Wanda are also going to get mulch around their tomatoes this weekend and they are very pleased with the spinosad for the flea beetles (they don’t fall off as easy as the others).
Wanda’s sister Bonnie’s whimsical garden decorations
I left the Allen’s house with a bag full of lettuce, a goodbye nip from Buddy the dog and a “love you” from Wanda. Can you see why I love home visits?