Cowan Community Center was glad to see David Cooke for a visit earlier this month.    We had short notice, but wanted David to get to meet many of our participants and our participants wanted to meet David, so a gathering was quickly planned.  Dr. Breeding, Mountain Comprehensive Health Clinic came out for lunch with us and to connect with David Cooke about the growth in Letcher Coounty and Grow Appalachia’s positive influence in the community.


Tomatoes and peppers were gathered and plans made to make spaghetti sauce.

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Elizabeth Ison, GA participant often takes the leadership role in our canning projects.   She is calm, cool and collected and relates well to all of our participants.   Her directions are accurate and precise, but all given in the tone and relationship of just being in her kitchen.


There is this magic  moment that I am yet to figure out what happens, but our group moves from a room full of polite individuals smiling and nodding at my welcome in their strategically placed seats to a room full of activity and motion with all on a task they understand and we accommodate each other in a small kitchen and seems everyone knows the plan.   I try to not intervene at these points.

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Participants were at varying levels of the their spaghetti sauce and some were beginning to make new plans that were not as time consuming as spaghetti sauce.

Again, participants canned several dozen jars of variations of tomato sauces.    Participants get a sampling to take home and supplies to do on their own.

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It was a nice day out looking at gardens and an opportunity to review progress of the program.

Looking forward to spaghetti sauce this winter.   Some have already tried and give a thumbs up, but I can’t open a jar until all crops are gone.

We have canned over 1,000 jars of fruits/vegetables this year in group demonstrations/collaboration at the center this year and are happy with that.

We are in the process of scheduling a micro processing class for this Fall, so participants will be ready w/certification, recipes submitted and labels ready for marketing next spring.   Good luck us!