Grow Appalachia began a partnership with Appalachian Child Care Center last year, and just as gardens expand each year, so is this project. Faye Martin and Bontia Adams, center operators are most welcoming and open to the partnership with Grow Appalachia. Appalachian Child Care, located on the outskirts of Whitesburg is home for the day to twenty toddlers and pre school students. Appalachian Child Care is a well respected and quality alternative for working families. We are pleased to be a part of their success.
Last year, was our first effort and students helped in the planting, some tending and harvesting of a large garden (30X50) and it met with success, however the garden was in a somewhat awkward location and at times was overwhelming for these young and tender hands. Although, it was difficult students were still able to participate, share produce and even preserve some for lunch this summer.
This year much effort has been given to making the gardens more accessible and personal to the students. Students will share eight raised beds (4X4) and help in the planning, planting, working and harvesting of these fruits and vegetables. With a kind growing season students will be able to share produce with their families at home. Although, this may not feed the family, we hope it encourages families who are growing gardens of their own to foster that desire for healthy eating and gardening and perhaps encourage a family to try their skills at farming as well.
We are also happy to provide both hands on help in the gardening and an experienced farmer for the students. You met, Logan and Addison in an earlier blog and they are already pointing out students to me, letting me know it’s their birthday and which ones really like strawberries. I think they all do. Stay tuned for more progress as the Appalachian Child Care Garden Grows!