Wisdom In The Room

As the sky darkened and the participants gathered, there was only one thing on the minds of the St Vincent Mission Grow Appalachia participants ¬†arriving for a meeting–“Why doesn’t she open the door?”

No really. We did have a great class last night as wind and rain battered the roof of Graceway United Methodist Church. Our friend Mark Walden drove in from Madison County to give us an overview of controlling garden pests organically.

It was our typical group. From newbie gardener Roy, the pastor of Graceway, to lifelong gardener, Ivan who grew up working the family garden over on David hill and every manner of gardener in between we sat and listened while Mark came with lots of great information, visuals and some IPM pamphlets from the Extension Service. But he wasn’t the only wisdom in the room. And that is what I find in every single gathering we have.

There is always someone who knows how to do it “better” or at least different. The blessing is in the sharing. Over and over I have heard Grow Appalachia site managers remark on how their favorite parts of the meetings are when people share their wisdom.

I am not a trained horticulturalist, a farmer or even an experienced gardener. I am a person who loves stories, especially stories about people and their heritage. And in Appalachia the stories center around food-either hunting it, growing it, cooking it or eating it. At any good Grow Appalachia gathering you hear them all. And that is the wisdom in the room. I can either stand up front and restate things I have read or heard or I can sit back and let those who do it tell how. I am learning to listen more. And I am blessed by the wisdom of my mountain friends.

This year I hope to share their wisdom with you because a good story, like good food from the garden, is what mountain folk share.

P.S. I am sorry there are no pictures with this post. Between trying to figure out how to get in the church and listening to the rain, I forgot to get my camera out.

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  1. Candace

    I agree! One of my favorite parts about traveling to each of our partner sites is getting to talk to families-whether I’m in the garden or on their porch. We all have so much to learn from each other. Thanks so much for sharing, KC.

  2. Carol Ison

    I enjoyed and appreciated your blog and the comments about your meeting. I could almost feel the rain and the anxiety the participants felt as they waited to get into the meeting. I believe that you are correct in your comments about so many of the participants having so much wisdom to share. That is certainly the case with our program at Cowan Community Center, and it is such a rich experience for those people to get to share their knowledge of gardening. It’s not everywhere that people are willing and interested in hearing what someone knows about planting your potatoes “when the signs are right”. It’s time these people now have their own group in which to talk about their ‘passions’. Keep up your good work and keep growing.

    Carol Ison, Director
    Cowan Community Center

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