Grow Appalachia is growing in our community this summer.    We have been busy promoting gardening and community involvement the past few weeks in our community.     This was our second year to participate in the 26th Annual Seedtime on the Cumberland Festival, an even hosted by Appalshop, a multi-media institute dedicated to preserving Appalachian history.     We were able to showcase our water barrels at this event as “works of art” and also share information.

Growing Presence for Grow Appalachia (youtube video presentation).

In connection with the Letcher County Extension Office we were able to pass out sweet potato slips to interested gardeners, both those who called us on the difference in “slips” and “shoots” and young children who would just take home and slip it into the dirt and wait for the magic to take place.    This was an opportunity to share the goals of Grow Appalachia and make new friends for our program.     We also delivered the “salad bar” to Appalshop at this event, which hopefully will provide salads for a cost and health conscious staff for times to come.   We were pleased to showcase our main products for participants, Harmony Fertilizer, Spinosad pesticides and visitors had the opportunity to enter for a drawing.   Again, we believe the greatest benefits are yet to be seen and seeds planted will benefit our Grow Appalachia program.

Valerie Horn, local coordinator of Grow Appalachia, works the Seedtime Festival Booth

Valerie Horn, local coordinator of Grow Appalachia, works the Seedtime Festival Booth


This past Saturday we had a booth at the first annual Summersburg Festival in downtown Whitesburg.   This was an opportunity for local business’ and community organizations to open the streets for families be appreciated for their commitment to downtown Whitesburg.    Our interns came up with the plan and managed our booth for this event.    Families and children were given the opportunity to paint a miniature flower pot and take seeds home for planting later.    Guests who visited our booth were pleased to see that our booth was free for families to enjoy and appreciative of the Grow Appalachia commitment to sparking interest for young gardeners.

We also had the pleasure of having Erica Glover, reporter for WYMT news travel with us one day to highlight Grow Appalachia activities.    We are pleased to share our story with our partners.     Erica not only provided nice coverage of activities at Appalachian Child Care but said she would like to come back and volunteer sometime.    Our Duke Robertson scholar has made the news two times since arriving here and he still has a weeks to go, stay tuned for more news from Jamal Edwards.

In conclusion, Grow Appalachia is growing and families/individuals are appreciative of the support Grow Appalachia offers be it in the form of tangible resources, gardening information or an opportunity to become involved in their community.    It is a fine line to be able to provide tangible resources especially to those expressing a desire to be involved, but for now we are enjoying the challenge.    As always, thanks to John Paul for making these opportunities possible.