Cowan Community Center would like to showcase some of our participants and dig a little deeper into the rich people that make up Grow Appalachia in our community. In this blog, we would like you to meet Josh and Callie Blair and most especially Eliza Jane.

Meet Eliza Jane !

Meet Eliza Jane !

Josh and Callie both grew up around gardens and got to the table most Sunday’s somewhere with fresh food, but neither were full time gardeners, so this is a new experience for them to be on their own in the garden. Callie is familiar with the Grow Appalachia project and is always available at meetings before and after to help however needed. Josh and Callie live at Blair Branch and are a young, new family, just establishing traditions and habits. We are excited they are placing a priority on gardening and want to applaud that.

Josh and Callie got their garden out early and planted 50 lbs. potatoes, 36 cabbage plants, lettuce, onions, corn, beans, tomatoes, watermelon, squash, peppers and room for more. Callie estimates the cost for their garden seeds and plants so far to be around $90.  We were able to provide organic fertilize and have offered a class on garden planning and the benefits of heirloom seeds. Josh, is the driving force of the garden and my main question for him was “why he wanted to garden?”    Josh works on a strip mines that is almost a two hour drive each way and a ten hour night shift usually six days a week. This leaves him about three hours at most between waking up and leaving for work.   I was curious as why he wanted to dedicate the time and work required.  His answer as to why he wants to garden was really pretty straight forward, “It means a lot to me to have fresh food and the fresh food tastes better.”   He also wants to have it for their little girl, Eliza Jane.   He did say, this was his second attempt at a garden and the first year was too hard working alone. This year, his brother shares the garden with him.   This allows another family of four to share in the healthy harvest.  He says he probably would not do alone at this point. Another bonus of the garden, spending time with your brother.


I’m sharing a few pictures of their garden and Eliza Jane who can’t help yet, but her company certainly makes the garden pretty.

A close up on Eliza Jane's first gardening experience.

A close up on Eliza Jane’s first gardening experience.

I can’t help but believe gardening just gets in your blood and am glad to see Little Miss Eliza Jane getting in the garden.