This past Saturday we welcomed a group of 5 Paul Mitchell employees to Pine Mountain for a tour of several of our Grow Appalachia participant’s gardens. Leigh Ann, Judith, Jess, Jay, and Anna all work for the Paul Mitchell company in different capacities and chose to come visit a Grow Appalachia site because they knew that their company supported and contributed to Grow Appalachia but they only had a limited knowledge of what Grow Appalachia was. After catching a moment with John Paul DeJoria they were given the go ahead to visit a site so as to get whole picture and see the ground work that Grow Appalachia does on a daily basis.

Our guests were excited to visit each and every garden and enthusiastic despite the hot and humid day. They asked many questions of our gardeners and took a genuine interest in each participant’s story and the many different crops they were growing.


Preston, Beth and their two children with Maggie and Paul Mitchell employees

First up on the schedule was the garden of Preston and Beth and their 2 children. Preston and Beth have been in the program for several years and have put a lot of effort into establishing and caring for their garden.





Geneva with the group in her corn crop



Next we went to visit Sonny and Geneva where we got to see a gigantic corn crop and taste some amazing honey that Sonny had recently harvested. Sonny and Geneva strive to be as organic as they possibly can and grow food crops as well as crops for their honey bees.







Tevis and the group at her garden

3rd up was a visit to Tevis, a wonderful friend, Grow Appalachia participant and constant inspiration. Tevis is in her 2nd year as a Grow Appalachia participant and is a champion of the local food and gardening movement in Appalachia. With the establishment of her own garden Tevis completely changed her lifestyle and in turn her health by eating fresh garden vegetables, becoming more physically active and making many more small healthy changes.


Coburn and Tevis with the group



Phyllis teaches Judith what a “runner” on a bean is

The last stop for our day was to visit the garden of Coburn and Phyllis; though Coburn and Phyllis are some of the older participants in our program they happen to have the largest garden and probably the most consistently productive one in our program. Coburn and Phyllis work tirelessly to grow food for themselves, the senior citizen program, their neighbors and thier friends.

The Paul Mitchell crew went home with apple butter, zucchini, and cucumbers and Maggie and I, as well as all the participants that we visited, received wonderful gifts of Paul Mitchell Hair Care products. Overall it was a wonderful day with some great people, we had so much fun hosting them and I hope they will go on to spread the good work of Grow Appalachia with their coworkers!