These past few days have brought some beautiful weather and a reminder of the reasons why Grow Appalachia is such a wonderful program.

Monday night an older couple in our program stopped by the house with a truckload of vegetables. They had just been working in the garden and stopped by to chat and load our arms full of zucchini, yellow squash, and sweet corn.

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The next evening we had our fall/winter gardening workshop and a Grow Appalachia meeting. The workshop, led by Cathy Rehmeyer of Pikeville, KY., was extremely interesting and informative and was a huge success with our participants. We had a great turn out and everyone left the workshop excited about new ways to extend the gardening season. Everyone at the meeting willingly took home seed packets filled with new and strange sounding greens to try in their gardens, the willingness of these gardeners to try new things constantly surprises me.

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When the meeting ended Maggie and I packed up to go home for the evening and left with fresh eggs, apples, peaches, and honey.

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Wednesday morning we came in to work for the start of a cool and breezy beautiful day and before long we had a huge basket of grapes, several bags of dehydrated fruit, and three gorgeous ripe tomatoes sitting in the office.

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Today I took the tiller out to work with one of our families and returned with more honey, ground cherries, and a bag of new potatoes. I won’t need to go to the grocery store for weeks!

The participants in Grow Appalachia are the most generous people that I have ever met, they feed themselves, their friends and their families and sustain the community with fresh healthy food that is a product of their hard work all season long. In the past two years I have learned a great bit about generosity and simple acts of kindness. Food, especially homegrown food, is better when shared with those that you care about.

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The sun is shining, sunflowers are blooming, and my fridge and heart are full with the kindness of the Grow Appalachia community, what more could you ask for?