I think all of us have the inherent desire to be a part of something bigger than our own small life. I can get so caught up my own to-do list that sometimes I just need a gentle reminder of what is going on around me. Today we visited Scott County TN and I had the most
enjoyable time visiting with gardeners, farmer’s market vendors, and organization leaders. Basically I met with the people behind the Scott County Christian Care Center who make it all happen. Patsy, dealing with cancer showed us her big pole bean tepee; Lilly Rose, a 85 year old lady with more apples on her apple trees that I have ever seen; Phyllis Paine, a quiet lady with sunflowers as big as small trees; Jeremy, the big man behind the farmer’s market with great ideas and plans for the future; Jalissa Hunter, one of the sweetest young ladies interning with SCCCC; and Lisa Cotton, a breath of fresh air who showed us all the wonders of her beautiful program.
We visited several gardens, the county fair, and the farmer’s market and I noticed that every single one of the participants were so happy and so generous. I am constantly amazed at the open-armed welcome Mr. Cooke, Candace and I have received and just the way people are so generous and grateful for the program has almost made me break down in tears a couple times. It’s just heartwarming to hear the stories of the gardens and the people as they grow with the program (better said, the Grow Appalachia Family). There really is a sense of kinship and companionship among growers that is hard to identify any place else.
Today I left Scott County feeling as if I was a part of something bigger than myself, and in truth I have been. This internship has allowed me to be part of the great big Grow Appalachia Family which has positively changed very many people’s lives. I am so honored to have been able to work with the Grow Family for the summer. My favorite quote, from Margret Mead, keeps popping into my head: “never doubt that a group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has”.