Saxon at ASPI

Today Nancy and I visited some of our gardeners.  I think today was particularly awe-inspiring.  One of our gardeners, Armilda Barnes was busy shucking corn when we drove up.  Armilda has a 2 acre plot with beans, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, sweet corn and hominy corn.  She also has a smaller plot on the other side of her house with a variety of fruits and veggies growing.  In addition to canning something out of her garden pretty much everyday, Armilda raises three beautiful grandkids that are full of kindness and imagination.  On her property she also has an orchard heavy with fruit, hogs, and chickens.  She raises and prepares food for an eight person household.  She keeps busy and with a joyous, seize-the-day attitude.

Armilda shucking corn

Armilda’s Helpers

I didn’t really grow up canning and my mom only had a garden when I was a real little baby.  I started getting into gardening, the farmers markets, local food movements when I was a preteen and have always been involved with food culture since that time.  I spent 3 years at Berea College working for the Agriculture Department and now I work here at Grow Appalachia.  I am grateful and blessed to have learned all that I have over the last several years about soils, harvesting, planting, and more.  However, I still feel like there’s so much to learn!  The knowledge and confidence that Armilda has within her are golden, I really admire her and all her hard work.