Written by Saxon

I was hoping that some of you might begin to imagine something like a root beer float, vegetable style.  But, what I’m really talking about is a parade float!

Here at ASPI we’re gearing up for the Bittersweet Festival in Mt. Vernon this Saturday.  I mentioned before that we’re having a sort of “living garden” theme on the float, though the theme has now been extended to showcase a few of the things Grow Appalachia emphasized in the community this season, such as canning, mushroom inoculation, and wild edibles.

On Tuesday children of participants and the local girl scout troop we’ve been working with came to help us prepare decorations.  The kids chose which vegetable or fruit they wanted to paint, leaving us with about 30 hand-painted beautiful produce paintings, which the kids will hold on the float.  They also painted garden-scene murals to go on the edges of the wagon.

 While they were here, the kids took full advantage of the last of the year’s ripe tomatoes in our community garden, snacking and even packing for later. 

One of our cherished participants and volunteers, Armilda Barnes, today brought in not only the wagon and haybales to be used in the parade, but a few new and helpful ideas about how to really showcase all that Grow Appalachia does.  So, besides the kids with their artful veggies, the float will also feature some of Armilda’s delicious canned goods, her produce, and some corn stalks from her crop.  We’ll have a scarecrow and a few banners explaining who we are and what we do.  It’s sure to be a good time!