Hello, my name is Alex Sanders and I am the site supervisor for the Grow Appalachia Gardening Program at Project Worth Outreach in Menifee County, Kentucky.

Today I want to tell you about one of our gardeners, again.  One of the things I enjoy most about my job is meeting and getting to know people.  Last week, as I was contacting all of our gardeners, either in person, email, or telephone, to get up to date harvest numbers for my next Grow Appalachia report I was quite surprised by the sheer amount of produce harvested by one woman in her garden.  She works her garden as a full time job while her husband makes a living by logging.  She is a member of the Rowan County Farmer’s Market and she attends this market twice a week.  Sometimes she even sets up on the side of the road to sell her produce.  Her name is Missy Conn, who I have mentioned before in a previous blog post.   When a friend told me that I should contact her because she is an amazing person, very funny, articulate and a sponge for information.  He told me  she has been raising a traditional garden for several years.  He also said that she would tackle any project.  For example she took an old swing and made her own greenhouse.  She stated to me one day that she had a total of $20.00 invested in her greenhouse. Another example is she took a torn up trampoline and made this the base of her chicken tractor.  Ingenious.   She informed me, in our first meeting, that she wanted to learn about organic gardening.   Over the summer she told me that she was sold on organic gardening and will always grow an organic garden.  She has spread the word about Grow Appalachia and even identified several gardeners for next year.   Her enthusiasm is contagious. We have had her speak at our participant’s meetings in Menifee and Rowan Counties.   We did not have to supply her any seeds because she keeps her seeds from year to year.   So far this year Missy has harvested almost 100 bushels of produce. The produce harvested include cabbage, lettuce, watermelon, pumpkins, corn, green beans, eggplant, cucumbers, sweet peppers, strawberries, okra, tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, potatoes, carrots and sweet potatoes. She has sold $943.00 worth of produce at the Rowan Count Farmer’s Market. Missy has bartered 4 pecks of green beans for 50 empty quart canning  jars and 4 pecks of tomatoes for 4 pecks of white half-runner green beans.  She has also given away 13 pecks of corn and 16 pecks of June apples to an organization that makes home deliveries to the elderly and the needy.  It has been a joy to work with Missy this year and am looking forward to working with her next year.

Hope everyone has a great week and a bountiful harvest.