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.