Bobby and Kathy Adams, more lovingly known as Poppy and G to their family, are first year Grow Appalachia participants, but this is definitely not their first time gardening. Bobby and Kathy are life long residents of Letcher County and they are the kind of people that make Letcher County special, we are very glad to have them as Grow Appalachia Participants this year. Bobby is a former coal miner and Kathy is kindergarten aide in the school system. When David Cooke came to visit, I knew their garden would be one we wanted to see, and I don’t think he was disappointed. They rolled the dice and planted early and their risk paid off this year. They are ahead of the game, already harvesting from their garden.
Bobby met us at the garden and had much to be proud of as he showcased his garden. Kathy has a hand in the garden also, as noted by the nice markers in their garden.
I especially love the cane poles, a long time, fading tradition for gardening in Eastern Kentucky.
When we left the garden, David asked, “what exactly Grow Appalachia brings to their garden.” His question was innocent and straightforward, but I questioned what exactly we do for Bobby and Kathy and are we meeting goals of Grow Appalachia with these participants. I could answer that we had provided tangible products to Bobby and Kathy in the form of Harmony organic fertilizer and safer pesticides and with that the opportunity to try safer products in their garden. I also shared what I suspected with David that this was an opportunity for family to be involved with their community in a positive manner and have an escape together. I shared that Bobby and Kathy live close to many of their extended family and have active roles as caregivers for many. In fact, the day before our visit, Kathy’s father had just been released from the hospital and family members were taking turns in settling them back in.
Grow Appalachia was having a participant and supporters luncheon on this day also. Kathy made arrangements with family to cover the care for parents, made fresh zucchini bread and joined our group. She later laughed that she was counting on Grow Appalachia for her breaks this summer. That day she was included in the barrel painting after lunch and did a fantastic job, but more importantly had the chance to visit with neighbors and relax on the grounds at the Cowan Community Center. She didn’t finish hers in our time frame, so she took hers home for extra time and attention. In looking at the pictures, it was nice to see Grow Appalachia a part of this family. I know they do wonderful things daily without Grow Appalachia but it was a good feeling to know Grow Appalachia was a part of Poppy and G’s family and their water barrel will serve the garden with water and the family as a reminder of good memories.